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Published on May 30th, 1996 | by Gerry Galipault


Super Deluxe brings back super pop

At first glance, power-pop quartet Super Deluxe may seem super out-of-place in its native Seattle.

But in the land of grunge, rain, expresso coffee and fish markets, that uniqueness has worked to their advantage.

“Because we came out when we did, there were still a lot of heavy bands around trying to ride the grunge wave, I think we got noticed because we were a pop band,” singer-guitarist Braden Blake said recently. “It was difficult in the beginning to get booked for shows because clubs were hesistant to book a real poppy band like we are, but we eventually stood out.”

Like the Posies before them, Super Deluxe has opened doors for other genres, not just pop, to be heard in Seattle.

“It just so happens our first big show was opening for the Posies,” Blake said. “They had heard our tape at a friend’s garage sale. He was playing the tape and just hanging out and Joe Bass of the Posies liked it and they decided to give us an opening slot.”

The band’s first album, “Famous,” was released in September on the indie label Tim/Kerr Records. Rolling Stone magazine quickly sang its praises, hailing it “groovelicious.” Its regional success impressed executives at Giant Records so much, they signed the group, remixed and remastered “Famous” and reissued it May 14 as the first release under Giant’s new moniker, Revolution.

They also have earned a spot on the Presidents of the United States of America’s tour.

“We feel really lucky,” Blake said. “We’ve had a lot of good breaks, you know, in the right place at the right time in a lot of cases.”

Guitarist John Kirsch said Revolution’s support and belief in Super Deluxe (which also features bassist Jake Ness and drummer Chris Lockwood) convinced them to join the uprising.

“They’re totally behind what we’re doing,” he said. “Even if the (sales) numbers are soft, they’re going to back us up. Missy (Worth), the person who’s running Revolution, has been a great supporter.”

Tracks such as the first single, “She Came On,” are laced with wafting retro-pop harmonies and instant hooks.

Super Deluxe isn’t afraid to wear its pop influences on its collective sleeve, Blake said.

“Pop means popular, but the word pop pretty much sums it up for me,” he said. “The influences are obvious, the early pop from the Beatles, the Hollies and bands like that. They defined the genre of guitar pop. We’re just kind of imitators and borrowers with some of those elements.”

Not ones to rest on their laurels, the four are already looking ahead to their next album.

“We’re working on it, which we will probably record in the fall and come out a year from now,” Blake said. “This album’s only been out since September. We recorded it in the spring last year, so it hasn’t been that long. I think by the time the next one comes out, though, we’ll be tired of (‘Famous’).

“Otherwise, we’re going to keep a smile on, cross our fingers, tour a lot and have a good time.”

BWF (before we forget): Super Deluxe’s follow-up album, “Via Satellite,” was released in 1997.

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Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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