The Supersuckers at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Sunday (November 9). $14. 416-598-4753.
The Supersuckers have taken so many detours into country territory over the past few years, it's become a welcome surprise when they return to their hard-rockin' roots, as they do on their explosive new Motherfuckers Be Trippin' (Mid-Fi) album. Fans of the New Bomb Turks will recognize the name of the Supersuckers disc as the title of the mythical Turks album their wisecracking frontman, Eric Davidson, would often claim his group was working on but never delivered.
Since the Turks imploded, the conservation-minded Supersuckers didn't see a problem with recycling the title for a new recording that, appropriately enough, picks up where their hard-thrashing contemporaries left off.
"We still love country music," explains Supersuckers main man Eddie Spaghetti, who has Willie Nelson's digits on his speed dial, "but we like to keep our country and rock stuff separate.
"So we plan to continue alternating between country and rock records. In fact, I've just finished a solo country album - mostly covers of songs by Billie Joe Shaver, Merle Haggard and Steve Earle that I've been playing for a while - that should be out in January.
"With Motherfuckers Be Trippin', we thought it was time to remind people that the Supersuckers are still the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world."
Cranking tunes like Rock Your Ass, Pretty Fucked Up, Someday I Will Kill You and Bruises To Prove It on the new disc make a good case for the Supersuckers' riff-rippin' supremacy.
It was very nearly their fiery final statement. While on tour in Spain recently, their van spun out, leaving the badly battered band and crew members feeling lucky to be alive.
"The rain was coming down hard, and we started hydroplaning. When the van started to spin out of control, everything got real quiet and time seemed to stand still as we rolled into a ditch. We were really fortunate to walk away from it with a few broken bones and some cuts and bruises.
"At the hospital we thought, 'Well, that's it, let's go home.' But the next day things changed. We got this feeling of invincibility and decided to finish off the tour. It was like, 'If we survived that, nothing can stop us now!'
Well, nothing except maybe a Canadian Customs officer wearing rubber gloves. The last time they tried to cross the border for a Toronto gig, they wound up bent over with their trousers around their ankles and vowed "Never again!" Fortunately, they've reconsidered.
"They never entered our bodies," Spaghetti is quick to clarify, "but it's true that we did have to get naked at Customs and lift up certain things and move them around so the officers could have a good look. After we were turned away, we spent an unscheduled night in Buffalo, where we had our van broken into and all our gear stolen.
"So we probably did say something rash at the time about not coming back, but there was a five-year period where we weren't allowed to return to Canada.
"I'm happy that's all behind us now, because Toronto and Montreal are great towns and we always have a good time there. When you consider the average career length of rock bands, it's actually kind of amazing that we're still together and able to play in Toronto again."