Album Review

Superchunk, 'Majesty shredding'

September 20, 2010

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You can’t fault a band for being consistent. Then again, these days you can’t really credit a band for it, either. If you aren’t bringing something new (consumers to their smartphones, energy drinks, and indie bands), we don’t want it. So what’s a group like Superchunk to do? Through the ’90s, the Chapel Hill, N.C., band made its name through a reliable din of huge, fuzzed-out guitars, spiffed-up post-punk sensibilities, and songs that made up for in catchiness what they lacked in variety. “Majesty Shredding’’ sounds less like a return to form than a restoration of college-rock values for the band’s fans. The volleying guitars of “My Gap Feels Weird’’ and friendly ferocity of “Rope Light’’ signal a group with the same playful spirit that made its best work roar (see: 1994’s “Foolish’’), but with refreshed energy from a nine-year nap. A bit of brass rears up through a bramble of stray guitars at the end of opener “Digging for Something’’ — which pokes at the attendant uncertainty that comes with rocking out at a certain age — and Mac McCaughan heads into the chorus with as close to a mission statement as the band has come: “They were kickin’ up dust till they were gone.’’ (Out now) MICHAEL BRODEUR

ESSENTIAL “Digging for Something’’

Superchunk plays Royale on Sept. 21.