Superchunk – ‘What a Time to Be Alive’

By Jessica Howkins

Nearly 30 years into their existence, Superchunk have returned with ‘What a Time to Be Alive’. The indie-punk band usually have something to say in their releases and this eleventh offering is a prime example of that.

This is one of the quartet’s most energetic albums, and despite the typical bounce that comes with the genre, there is a sour note. It’s obvious what the band are angry about. Front man Mac McCaughan wastes no time going off about the state of the world. The frustration is notable in his voice, something that you can relate to with current affairs.

This frustration flows into the sound just as well. ‘Reagan Youth’ and ‘Erasure’ are perfect examples of the album being fuelled by frantic guitars and melodies. The entire album makes you feel like you’re hurtling toward a revolution. One where the kids will win, and the bitter old men will be put in a box of shame. It’s a thrilling ride to be taken on.

Superchunk have always hit out and supported the issues that matter most and ‘What a Time to Be Alive’ is an album that is standing up for the many. It is a voice for so many of us that feel like we don’t have one. Musically, it’s outstanding with just a tiny amount where it falls flat, but otherwise picks itself up and lays down the law with angst.

The indie-punk quartet have crafted something filled with all our anxieties and anger. Their honesty is when they make their best music, and this album is by far up there. From hooks to melodies, right through to the drum work, they have excelled themselves. This album is exactly why Superchunk are still going with such force.


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