[sic] Magazine

Superchunk – I Hate Music

There are some downright untouchable names in the annals of rock music history and Superchunk are one of them, as integral a part of the landscape as the more obvious contenders for over two and half decades. Yet, when a scene’s elder statesman return to the studio there’s a risk of an album’s worth of sub-standard echoes of earlier favourites all the same. Happily, that needn’t always be the case as long-time contemporaries Mudhoney proved with their killer Vanishing Point LP this year.

So too the ‘Chunk it turns out who – clearly oblivious to fashion – pick up exactly where any of their back catalogue finishes on I Hate Music , choosing to dole out great spoonfuls of gratuitous guitar-on-guitar action as they go. True, that means that I Hate Music is essentially college rock for men with kids approaching college age themselves, but that doesn’t remove the band’s influential status and you can hear it on tracks like “FOH”, whose big chorus led by the ever-distinct work of Mac McCaughan will no doubt be inspiring the like of Les Savy Fav soon. The Hold Steady will likely be taking notes too when they hear the infectious melody of the opener “Overflows”, its fast-tempo indie-rock harking straight back to a time when such a comparison wasn’t a criticism.

Nostalgia of this type requires a little patience though, many cuts here initially seeming rather pedestrian until you adjust your ears and expectations to a time pre-Nirvana. Still, tracks like “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” are just so jam-packed with pleasing riffs that they can’t fail to entertain, the pure adrenaline buzz that kicks in when the chorus strikes in “Low F” like a much needed hug from your BFF. Hell, the necessarily brief “Staying Home” even embraces a dash of thrash to appease certain power-punk fanatics of old.

Superchunk don’t hate music, they’re just going to make it in exactly the way they want to whether you like it or not … and there’ll be no shortage of fans who love it either way.

Advised downloads: “Overflows” and “Low F”

~I Hate Music is released August 19th 2013 on Merge .~