Monday, December 20, 2010

Best of 2010: #5 Superchunk - Majesty Shredding

You would have to be crazy to expect much, an “indie rock” band, though indie rock seemed to have left this sound some time ago, from the 90’s putting out an album of original material nearly a decade since their last release. There are piles of records released by bands in similar positions and none of them scratch the surface of how good this is. This year Superchunk made an album that was not only “good considering” it was just great regardless of context. A record that could potentially be the best of an excellent career.

I feel so bad for those few voices(fewer and fewer every year), who when Weezer put out a record they say things like “return to form” and “best since…” and every year what they get is a series of more confounding choices from a band that barely resembles the one these fans fell in love with so many years ago. Superchunk’s triumph made me feel worse for them this year. What they’ve done here is come back as an idealized version of themselves. The hard rocking urgency of their early albums, the catchy immediacy of their later 90’s albums, a slight nod the wider sonic palette of their last record(the under appreciated Here’s To Shutting Up), it’s all here. They’ve given fans a record they definitely didn’t expect and didn’t realize they needed.

Majesty Shredding
is pop-punk for adults without sacrificing any of the energy and scrappiness the genre requires. Every song has “best song on the album” potential. “Digging For Something,” “My Gap Feels Weird,” “Crossed Wires,” “Winter Games,” listing these songs reads to me like a brand new greatest hits package. If you know someone who excitedly downloaded and was let down by Hurley this year, Majesty Shredding is the Christmas gift you should, nay must, buy them.

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