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Superchunk - I Hate Music

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 15 / 8 / 2013

Superchunk - I Hate Music
Label: Merge Records
Format: CD


Infectious indie guitar rock on tenth album from acclaimed North Carolina act, Superchunk

Superchunk fans were left waiting nine years for the 2010 release of 'Majesty Shredding', so will doubtless be relieved that a follow-up has only taken three years. The band had never split up, gigging fairly regularly during their hiatus, as well as releasing occasional singles and a series of limited edition live albums. Nevertheless, 'Majesty Shredding' was the sound of a band re-energised, a series of breakneck pop-punk anthems which put their younger peers comprehensively to shame. 'I Hate Music' - as usual released on Merge, the label the band founded to release their first singles - finds the band reflecting on a life spent immersed in music. They describe the album as the dark twin of 'Majesty Shredding' – and it's not a bad way of putting it. The format of jarring dual guitar lines, frenzied drums and dependable basslines remains in place, but – while there are still plenty of examples of Superchunk's trademark rip-roaring pop-punk – the band have slowed down slightly and allow themselves the occasional moment to breathe on their follow up. Perhaps the reason why Superchunk have not quite enjoyed the same reputation as some of their peers is that their style doesn't lend itself especially well to wordy analysis. Singer Mac McCaughan pitches his voice in that point immediately between singing and screaming, while the band let rip with a furious assault of riffs and solos. It is simply brilliant, exuberant and infectious indie-guitar rock – the kind that sounds ridiculously easy, but if it was, everyone else would do. The difference between Superchunk and lesser practitioners of a similar art is that these songs don't just deliver an upfront kick – the solos continue to bite on repeat listens and McCaughan's explorations of age and family give the songs an emotional intensity even the band's earlier work lacked. Anyone who hasn't caught up with Superchunk since their 90's heyday should reconnect here – everything is how you will remember it, only a little sharper and a little catchier. Meanwhile, those of you who have been counting down the days since 'Majesty Shredding' will not be disappointed - 'I Hate Music' wholly defies its title and is every bit as good as its illustrious predecessor.

Track Listing:-
1 Overflows
2 Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
3 Void
4 Staying Home
5 Low F
6 Trees of Barcelona
7 Breaking Down
8 Out of the Sun
9 Your Theme
10 FOH
11 What Can We Do

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