November 8, 2001

Test Spins: Superchunk

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As one of the longest-running and most respected indie rock bands, Superchunk, by all rights, really isn’t expected to do anything great anymore. They could churn out albums of crap, or simply remain inactive, and they’d still have buckets of cred for their early classics. Instead, they continue to surprise and delight fans with each new release.

Their seventh full-length is yet another spectacular collection of pop-rock. “Florida’s On Fire” mixes gritty punk guitars with syrupy strings for the album’s best moment, but the rest of these songs are nearly as great. “Phone Sex” incorporates a pedal steel guitar for a laidback folksy feel. The rocky “Art Class” starts off with an abrasive clatter of lo-fi drums that cuts into a wash of angular guitars and an upbeat melody. Mac McCaughan’s high vocals are the perfect vehicle for his heartfelt, fresh lyrics of broken relationships.

Superchunk has always believed that pop doesn’t need to be dumbed-down or simple, and this complex, sophisticated record is just more proof for that.

Archived article by Ed Howard