Monday, September 13, 2010

Album Review: Superchunk - Majesty Shredding

It's been nine long years since Superchunk's last album Here's To Shutting Up was released. It was a quite a departure for the band which explored new sonic textures and instruments, even pedal steel guitar, which were quite a change for the group.

With that said, the band's new effort Majesty Shredding is easily a return to the classic, in your face, Superchunk sound the band has cultivated for more than twenty years, but the sonic complexity and maturity of their years are evident.

The quartet comes out of the gate swinging with album's first single "Digging For Something" which features blazing guitars, an infectious chorus and backing vocals by John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats).

The tracks continue to shred away with fuzzy, up-tempo riffs and Mac McCaughan's trademark nasal growl leading the way through the first five tracks. "Fractures in Plaster" is the first song that brings the tempo down a bit, but the soothing melody descends and string accents build to a crescendo in the final moments becoming a massive wall of sound.

The closing track "Everything at Once" is the star of this 11-song set, though, swirling with reverb soaked guitars with the brilliant hook in the chorus "Here's a song about nothing and everything at once."

Majesty Shredding was certainly worth the nine-year wait. Hopefully they won't make us wait until 2019 to hear the follow-up.

Majesty Shredding will be released on Sept. 14 via Merge Records. The band will play the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham on Thursday, Sept. 16.