There were quite a few bands that my roommate was into that took a bit of time for me to agree on. Usually it was pretty back and forth; I introduced him to Dinosaur Jr, he replied with Urge Overkill; I put on the Lemonheads and he replies with Sugar, but some stuff didn’t really stick.
Superchunk was one of those bands for me. I could appreciate what he was hearing, but other than the odd song (“Slack Motherfucker” is a frickin’ anthem of undeniable proportion) I just couldn’t get beyond the throwing then into a mix tape. Full albums just kinda slipped by me and never stood out in the collection as more than filler space.
So here we are more than twenty years later and Superchunk has me re-evaluating my attitude with an awesome frickin’ record, that even makes my kids play air guitar. Of course their excitement might have more to do with the fan made Lego video for “FOH”, but they really don’t need to apologise for that.
“Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” bursts out with ‘anthemic’ glee as Mac McCaughan sings “I hate music – what is it worth?/ Can’t bring anyone back to this earth / Or fill in the space between all of the notes / But I got nothing else so I guess here we go.”
I Hate Music is a brilliant alt-rock masterpiece that arrives twenty years after such things were ‘so-called’ fashionable. It’s fuzzed out guitars and vocals seeped in blasts to match. The overall sentiment a ‘tongue in cheek’ “screw you – I play rock ‘n’ roll because I want to, mixed with some of the darker crap that comes with… well for lack of a better term – being a fuckin’ adult.
Beyond the tunes, the vinyl packaging for I Hate Music is phenomenal. For just a couple bucks more than the standard black disc, you get 150 gram coloured vinyl with a extra 7” inch single of unreleased material… and the damn 45 is white vinyl to boot. (You also get the download card, to put the album on your device of choice.)
So now that I Hate Music has finished playing I’m looking through my old CD’s for Superchunk’s Foolish with a sheepish grin on my face. I’m wondering if I should have been paying closer attention to my roommates pontificating about the finer points of Afghan Whigs or the Archers of Loaf or…