Bargain Bin Dig: Supervillain Zero

i occasionally like to spelunk in the bargain bins of used CD stores. sometimes i find random gems...great albums that are half-forgotten, or that flooded the market years ago only to be sold back by all the teenyboppers once they've progressed to their next musical phase. other times, i find albums in the bin that are just so weird that i have to buy them and see what weirdness lurks within.

it is for this second reason that i picked up Must Be Stopped... by Supervillain Zero. i had no idea who the band was or what kind of music they played. all i knew is that their name was awesome, and the album cover art was weird. the band name on the front was in a really cutesie font with lots of stars, and had a big old star in the centre with four or five levels of outlining around it. on the back was a cartoonish drawing of four guys, ostensibly the band: one in a button-down shirt, one in a Slayer shirt, and one in an AC/DC shirt, all doing weird things to a fourth guy in a SVZ shirt. below it was the copyright date of the album: 2002.

i popped in the album...i kind of like it. they're nothing earth-shattering, but they're enjoyable. they fall squarely into the category of snotty pop-punk. they sound like any other band out there that does that kind of music, although the songs are a little better-written, a little more coherent than most. the strongest song on the album is the first track, "Sinking Simon". despite the uber-cheesy title, the song is good, and even almost pretty in places. i'm not surprised they didn't make it big, but they would have been a fun band to go out and see live around town.

i say would have been, because they are quite clearly broken up. i learned this from a little bit of webbernets-fu. i googled them first, but that was almost worthless. there were very few hits, and nothing even resembling a band page. finally, one site at least provided a broken link to a band page--and i used the wayback machine to fill in the details. the biographical information on their website is sketchy, but they appear to have formed sometime in mid-2001. they released two EPs: a self-titled one in July of 2001, and then Must Be Stopped... in mid-2002. they played most of their shows around St. Louis, at places like Hi-Pointe, Creepy Crawl, Mississippi Nights, Cicero's...good, small places that bigger local bands play. they also occasionally toured the midwest in their trailer, but kept most of their shows close to home.

sometime in mid-October of 2003, the band changed their name from Supervillain Zero to Rushmore Academy. they are still together...ostensibly. they haven't played a show in a while, and don't have any more scheduled...but they still have a bunch of music on their myspace, and no melodramatic myspace post about how it's been such a long, strange ride, but the band has gone their separate ways. i hope they're still together, and i hope they play a show soon, because their music is actually really good. it's clear they've grown and become better musicians and songwriters since the Supervillain Zero days. they sound like almost a dancier version of All-American Rejects. it sounds weird, but it really works...go to their myspace, and check out the song "Take This How You Want To". i highly recommend that one.

so...this Bargain Bin Dig was a rousing success. i discovered a decent old band in Supervillain Zero, and its positively rocking descendant in Rushmore Academy.

1 comment:

Steve Neske said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE I came across this blog post. Wow. My name is Steve and I was the singer/guitarist/principal songwriter for Supervillain Zero. I made that E.P. when I was 16. Crazy. Well, I'm glad you liked it!

I'm still making music, living in L.A. Check it out at steveneske.com if you like!