CD review: Superchunk’s ‘I Hate Music’

Annie Zaleski

Four stars

Superchunk I Hate Music

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, indie-rock vets Superchunk have been cloaking sticky pop hooks in buzzing power-punk chords for nearly a quarter-century, with no dip in energy or quality. That combination of fuzzy noise and youthful exuberance is present in spades on I Hate Music, the follow-up to 2010 return record Majesty Shredding. Snaky roller-coaster guitars recall the textured distortion jags of Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis, a fine counterpoint to frontman Mac McCaughan’s ageless nasal yelp and lyrics reflecting on how to reconcile (and triumph over) personal loss, emotional uncertainty and growing older.

The ruminative nature of I Hate Music adds extra resonance to the songs, especially the breakneck hardcore jam “Staying Home,” pummeling guitar snarl “Void,” jangly “Your Theme” and the midtempo, strummy “Out of the Sun.” Once again, the ever-consistent Superchunk reminds listeners that growing up doesn’t have to mean slowing down—or lowering the volume.

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