Were you to occupy
Some of my time
or space in the middle of my mind
identify the right place
By the bad design
“Swerve” – Matt Sobol
Every music lover has at least one. That album. THAT album that you missed when it was first released and you found it, but the band was already lost to history. Superkreme’s self-titled (and only) album is one of mine. While I was wandering in my musical desert for seven years in the 90s, I occasionally kept tabs on what was happening in Northeast Ohio music almost exclusively through Scene magazine. I remember seeing an article about Superkreme and I certainly recognized drummer Jeff Harmon (Jehova Waitresses) and guitarist/vocalist Matt Sobol (The Waynes) who were joined by guitarist/vocalist Susan Rasch (whose previous band, Rasch had a cut on the Cleveland Music Group release Rust Belt Eruptions in 1995) and bassist Paul Lewis (also late of the Jehova Waitresses) in what was billed as a Cleveland “supergroup”: (whatever that term means). The reviews were great and I intended on seeking out a copy, but of course, life got in the way and I never did.
Flash forward to December 2017 and I found out via social media that Susan Rasch had unexpectedly passed away at the age of 51. This prompted me to go on-line and finally find a copy of the Superkreme album. One listen told me that this was the best power pop album to ever come out of Cleveland.. and that’s coming from a Raspberries fan. Produced by the legendary Mitch Easter, the songs are tight, the rhythm section is tight and Sobol and Rasch’s guitars and vocals are, yes, tight. The mix of Sobol’s and Rasch’s songs (each singing lead on his/her own compositions) are laid out as almost a call and response fashion in the track listing and yet neither writer one ups the other maintaining a balanced band sound.
The band was just as good live as in the studio. Bassist Paul Lewis recently posted three live performances from the band on You Tube – one from The Symposium in Lakewood, OH, one from somewhere in Indiana and one from Brownie’s in New York City. Superkreme holds up well twenty years later even with the melancholia of knowing a reunion is now impossible. Godspeed, Susan!