Superchunk, Times New Viking | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Superchunk, Times New Viking Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Thu., Dec. 2, 9 p.m. 2010

Majesty Shredding (Merge) is the first new Superchunk album in nine years—a gap almost half as long as the Chapel Hill band's career—so it's not surprising that they'd spend part of the record looking back, half wondering where the time went: on "Fractures in Plaster" front man Mac McCaughan pleads, "When the past proves hard to resist / You'll keep a loose grip on my wrist, won't you?" In "My Gap Feels Weird" he discovers that the passing years have turned him into the sort of "old guy at the show" that his younger self dissed for not knowing what the kids were about; in the video for "Digging for Something" the band pokes fun at its own persistence, showing drummer Jon Wurster working for a dentist, bassist Laura Ballance selling pottery at a fair, guitarist Jim Wilbur meditating in a shack, and McCaughan leading a cringe-inducing "Superchunk 2.0" full of caricatured twentysomething hipsters. This self-awareness complements musical choices that recall the brashness and energy of the foursome's first few albums, with the exception of the superfluous keyboards that soften the arrangements. It's not exactly retro for the band to play like they used to, in part because their old sound has been kept alive by so many younger groups, but Majesty Shredding is the spunkiest, most aggressive Superchunk record since the early 90s. Times New Viking opens. 18+. —Peter Margasak

Price: $21

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