Suede: The next big thing?

NEIL DAVIDSON

, Last Updated: 2:42 AM ET

In Britain, the lead singer is known simply as Brett. The band, Suede, is simply the next big thing.

In fact, Suede is already huge. Its debut album, released in Canada last week, just entered the British charts at No. 1.

British critics rave. Suede "have it in them to be just about the most extraordinary, intelligent and potentially enormous guitar band this country has seen in a decade," said Q magazine.

Melody Maker, the British musical weekly, called them `the best new band in Britain' on its April 25, 1992, cover - before Suede had even released a single.

For once, the music almost lives up to the hype. This album is a monster debut.

Sex, drugs and angst make up Suede's brand of rock 'n' roll. And it makes for a fascinating, almost addictive mixture.

They are most often compared to the Smiths, the now-defunct British group whose lead singer Morrissey is already a fan. After attending a Suede concert, he promptly incorporated one of the band's songs into his own set.

Like the Smiths, sexual preferences are blurred in Suede's lyrics. Singer Brett Anderson describes himself as a "bisexual man who's never had a homosexual experience."

Comparisons to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust days are also made. New Musical Express, another British music weekly, liked the connection so much it did an interview with Bowie and Brett together.

But there are also echoes of other '70s icons such as T. Rex, Cockney Rebel and Mott The Hoople in the Suede sound.

In Canada, Suede songs are already in demand, according to the music director of CFNY radio.

"Phenomonenal feedback. Phenomenal," said John Jones, whose station specializes in alternative rock. "I think the record's really good. But is it as amazing as everybody in the U.K. would want it to be? I don't know."

Anderson and his three cohorts in Suede have been cover boys in Britain for the last 12 months. Anderson, 25, seems to favor a pose with one hand coquettishly placed behind his head, a move that often exposes a swath of stomach.

Their first single, The Drowners, was voted 1992 single of the year by Melody Maker and New Musical Express. The second single, Metal Mickey, won similar honors in Select magazine.

Their third release, Animal Nitrate, rocketed to the top of the independent single charts in Britain last month.

Readers of Melody Maker, after just two singles, voted Suede Britain's brightest hope, ranking them third among live acts and sixth in voting for best band.


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