Thursday, March 18, 2010

Superchunk - Foolish


There was a time when I listened to this album a lot.  And by this I mean at least once every day.  Seriously.  In fact, I wrote a song that became a centrepiece in my band's repertoire that was heavily influenced by this album, so much so that a lot of friends called it our Superchunk song.  Ah, those were some good days...  ('scuse me while I reminisce a bit more...)

Okay, done now.

The Chunksters were part of the Chapel Hill scene, which also spawned Polvo, Archers Of Loaf and, most notably, Ben Folds Five.  Superchunk's Mac and Laura also founded the hip indie label, Merge, which is still going strong today (and includes American indie darlings such as She & Him, Spoon and The Shout Out Louds).  And the band itself is still going strong, something of a feat considering most of their contemporaries have long broken up.

I still get shivers up my spine when I hear tracks like Driveway To Driveway or The First Part.  And while I know Mine is probably gonna hate Mac's voice, (Mine says: you know me so well, dear) the raw emotion and fragility of  it is still kicks me in the guts.  Foolish might be this album's name but its nature is so much more.



So who told guitarist Mac McCaughan he could sing?  (YourZ sez: ha, I knew it)  Seriously, this album has some nice tunes on it, but by the time I was on to about the fourth or fifth track, that high-pitched sounds-like-you-trod-on-a-cat wailing gave me a headache.  I really got the whole grumpy-old-woman bit about it.

In fact, this is one instance where the fact they'd mixed the vocals down and the instruments up didn't bother me at all.  This album would have been better if it was wholly instrumental.  Or if someone else sang.  Anybody.  Even Bob Dylan.  (OK, maybe I exaggerate there.)

The songs are also a bit same-y after a while, and I guess that means I've outgrown the whole indie-band thing, when you can forgive poor execution for the fact they have a lot of raw energy.  Give me execution any day. 


For more information:

In our collection we also have Here Is Where The Strings Come In

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