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Majesty Shredding
Superchunk Majesty Shredding
Released 15 October 2010
Producer Scott Solter, Superchunk
Label One-Four-Seven Records
Length 41:35
Genre Alternative, indie rock
Website superchunk.com
50

Two decades travelling under the radar and Superchunk are still playing. There is something about any artist who keeps going while the world remains oblivious to them. It must take nerve, even steely dedication, a devotion to their muse, to keep an artist voicing opinions that no-one listens to, creating images no-one will see, or –as in this case– making music no-one listens to. Not literally ‘no-one’, of course, but groups such as Superchunk play to a small gallery.

Listening to the opening track of Majesty Shredding and hearing the line "dancing on the propane tank" brought to mind another decades old group: Chumbawamba. If you’ve heard of them it’s because they had one song that was picked up and promoted by an enormous record label, to the extent that "I get knocked down, but I get up again..." became the anthem of blue-collar America. Not bad for a group of aging Lancastrian punks. Were it not for that lucky strike, Chumbawamba would be Superchunk; twenty years a-growing, and still going. Not ‘strong’ necessarily, but still going.

And again, what’s wrong with that? From the band’s point of view, nothing. But from a listeners.. There is another group that Superchunk brings to mind, or rather a group of groups: New York State’s Elephant 6 collective, which spawned Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control, possessed the febrile, psychedelic energy that Superchunk seem to be aiming at. But aiming and arriving are two different things, and although one can sense the summery, carefree vales that Superchunk want to bring us to, the spirit is that of Weezer or Ben Folds.

Any artist or group who stays true to the muse for two decades deserves some sort of respect. But anyone can think of many artists or groups who (figuratively) lived fast, died young and left a good-looking corpse. And, at the end of the day, who do you thank?

- Paul McGranaghan