Music » Livewire


With Thunderbirds Are Now! and Coffinberry. Thursday, April 28, at the Grog Shop.


Bands change their names for myriad reasons. Like, say, threats of legal action from other groups of the same name, drastic lineup changes, or just plain dislike of the moniker. Supersystem is one of very few bands to change its name for all three reasons.

When the group, then a trio, got started in 1996 -- multi-instrumentalist Justin Destroyer was just 20 years old -- the band called itself El Guapo and traded in punk-funk-electro brash, landing a deal with Washington, D.C. punk institution Dischord Records. But, thanks to threats from a Chicago-area band that had trademarked the El Guapo name first, the addition of ex-Orthrelm drummer Josh Blair, and, well, annoyance with the generic name, the quartet rechristened itself Supersystem. Its new moniker fits the tunes on its Touch & Go debut, Always Never Again. Resembling a less-confrontational version of labelmates !!! -- and, by default, that band's offshoot, Out Hud -- Again boasts beats straight from '80s arcade games grooving alongside a dash of Chic bass lines and a hint of post-punk corrugated riffs.

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