Superchunk

Majesty Shredding (Merge)

Phases & Stages

Superchunk

Majesty Shredding (Merge)

Of all the 1990s acts reconvening for albums, none picks up where it left off quite like Superchunk does on its first LP in close to 10 years. The Chapel Hill quartet's label, founded by singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance, is now home to heavies like the Arcade Fire and Spoon, but Superchunk was its original anthem band, and Majesty Shredding doesn't let up over 11 songs. "Mister, keep your memories" opens "My Gap Feels Weird," and the subtext is clear: Superchunk is older, but there's no whiff of nostalgia. "Crossed Wires," "Rosemarie," and "Slow Drip" vary in tempo, but that bashing pop-punk stance holds up each, and McCaughan, voice still the same after 15 years, does his best not to sound jaded. Quite the opposite: Superchunk sounds revitalized. Put this against 1994's acclaimed Foolish or 2001's Here's to Shutting Up, and it stands on its own, a reminder that Superchunk is still doing it better than most new bands today.

****

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