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Superchunk - Majesty Shredding
Superchunk has been around for just over 20 years and in that time span nine albums. They make ridiculously catchy pop-punk songs in a style reminiscent of Ted Leo (I say this, largely because I knew Ted Leo first, Superchunk have been around for longer). Their latest album - Majesty Shredding - seems to be about just that... shredding majestically. It's the first studio album to come since their 2001 release Here's To Shutting Up, which had some of the funner songs I've been listening to this year on it ('Art Class' and 'Phone Sex' mainly), and was much more textured then their previous albums, but still slower, poppy, and immensely enjoyable, but seemed to follow a path a lot of 90s bands were going down.
Majesty Shredding seems to have left that behind with a sonically quite loud album, filled with fuzz and chants. It's a return to their early 90s form - a sound that when you listen to it now is almost immediately recognisable as what that decade sounded like in the indie-pop-punk world. The album never really lets down, from the first chords on 'Digging For Nothing' to the pretty awesome riffage on 'Learned To Surf' to the final song about nothing and 'Everything At Once', the album remains fast and shredded. There are ohohohooooo choruses and guitar solos, and everything indicates a band that knows what it is doing but is still brimming with youthful energy.
Fun Fact: the founders of Merge Records - which now has the likes of the Arcade Fire on it - are both founding members of Superchunk.