Superchunk - Majesty Shredding

Now here's a surprise. Superchunk were stalwarts of the US college rock scene in the 90s and, along with the likes of Dinosaur Jr and Buffalo Tom, they fairly typified the grunge ethics of the punk pop underground back then. Now with the day job paying dividends, Mac and Laura put their record company (Merge, which is home to Arcade Fire) aside to pick up where they left off a decade ago. Talk about avoiding the banana skin, Majesty Shredding is their best work by some distance, which makes this one of the surprises of the year. A quick mental sifting of the record collection turns up just a 12" of their indie disco classic 'The Question is How Fast'. While there's nothing here that quite scales those heights, there's a consistency that their previous albums - often ropey, though On the Mouth is worth seeking out - simply couldn't match. Opener 'Digging for Something' is punchy and athletic, riffs and hooks jostling for position amongst the harmonies; 'Fractures in Plaster' slows things down with soloing after the style of one J Mascis, while 'Everything at Once' again recalls Dinosaur Jr with "whoo-hoos" straight from 'The Wagon'. Hey, no-one's asking for ingenuity and Superchunk do what they do, only this time around they're doing it better than ever. If at times the recipe of ragged riffery, pounding beats and semi-shouted vocals starts to wear a tiny bit thin, the songs are never less than engaging.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 14:24:35

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