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Majesty Shredding

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Since releasing their first 7-inch in '89, Superchunk has run the gamut of milestone albums: early punk rock stompers, polished mid-career masterpieces, and lush, adventurous curveballs. Conventional wisdom holds that a band two decades into its career can only rehash or reinvent, but with Majesty Shredding, Superchunk has done something entirely different. Neither a return nor a departure, Majesty Shredding telescopes two decades into 41 indelible, action-packed minutes. It is the sound of youthful exuberance fine-tuned with grown-up confidence. And it may very well be their best record yet.

Review

Puts the pedal to the medal with youthful abandon. --Time Out New York
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B003WR9NC4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,352 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Superchunk's last studio album ("Here's To Shutting Up") displayed all the sophistication that had been building since "Foolish." Strings, keyboard drones, and pedal steels wound through open-work pop songwriting that was among their most minimal and refined. It was a great, mature pop record that neatly joined many of the explorations Mac McCaughan had been making via his Portastatic outlet. A nine-year break followed. Portastatic stepped up its presence -- Jim Wilbur joined on bass.

There had been hints that the eventual Superchunk record was going to be a rocker. Compilation tracks (like "Everyone's Been Crushed" from Kill Rock Stars' "Fields And Streams" double-disc) were absolute corkers, and the "Leaves In The Gutter" E.P. that preceded "Majesty Shredding" last year collected 4 excellent "loose-end" songs of refreshed sounding indie rock. One of the songs, "Learned To Surf," reappears toward the middle of the new album.

Superchunk's sound remains very consistent, but within that tight-wired world of implosive distortion and guitars that hover just below feeding back, an admirable variety of musical and lyrical ideas unfold. From the opening shot of the pop-infused "Digging For Something" to the insanely catchy and slightly absurd "My Gap Feels Wide," this whole recording sounds nothing like a band that went on hiatus for most of a decade -- instead this sounds like it could easily slot somewhere between "Here's Where The Strings Come In" and "Come Pick Me Up".

The most immediate and noticeable difference that makes this separate from older Superchunk releases is the amount of range and confidence that Mac has gained as a singer.
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Format: MP3 Music
I won't pretend to be unbiased: Superchunk are my favorite band. But the idea that they could take a nine-year break and come back with what may well be the best Superchunk record ever seemed impossible to me. And, yet, here we are. A great place to start for first-timers, and a welcome return for longtime fans. I was fortunate enough to see them on a recent tour, and seeing a whole audience spontaneously clap along in rhythm on the breakdown for "Digging For Something", without being prompted by anyone onstage, tells you everything you need to know - these songs hit the sweet spot just as well aas anything they've done.

If you're not convinced, start with "Digging For Something", "Learned to Surf", and "Everything at Once", and then go from there. Pure indie-rock, dual guitar, jump-up-and-down sing along crunchy pop hook bliss.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to say 2010 was a disappointing year for new music. My friends and I typically make Top 10 lists at year's end, and it was a struggle to find 10 worthy records this time around. But with that much said, I think Majesty Shredding might be the best rock album of last year-- and it's certainly my favorite Superchunk ever.

In particular, I was struck by how much this record incorporated the best elements of Portastatic, Mac's other band. The melodies are among the most instantly catchy, the guitars are thicker than ever (with a serious J Mascis flavor to them), and the production values are the highest I've ever heard on a Superchunk record.

This is a thoroughly triumphant comeback. It's a high point for Superchunk and indie rock in general.
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Format: MP3 Music
Some where in a music quiz it would be wonderful to throw in a killer question on which band have left the longest gap between albums throughout their career? The Blue Nile are notoriously slow recorders of albums with gaps of five years and more; the recent Swans album with the title of the year - "My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky" came thirteen years after their last release and now we have Superchunk with a mere nano second in comparison amounting to nine years since their last album 2001's "Here's To Shutting Up". Was it worth the wait, too bloody right it was for "Majesty shredding" is a power pop/rock diamond packed with great songs and huge choruses but infused with the punk ethic aptly summarised in their greatest in your face classic "Slack Motherf**ker" (they don't do titles like that any more!). Indeed "Majesty Shredding" sees the band turning back the clock to their early albums such as "Here's Where The Strings Come In" but at the same time sounding totally vital and contemporary.

The songs on this album are relentless in their hook driven brilliance and it is the type of music that you need to play at Spinal Tap 11 to fully appreciate. Take for example the hugely propulsive "Digging for Something" which should be number 1 in seven continents. It starts with huge chords and a underpinning melody that calls down the ghosts of the Beach Boys and Husker Du in equal measure. Its one of those songs that requires 10,000 sweaty teenagers going mad in a field in middle England and giving the bouncers at the front of the stage all kinds of health and safety challenges. Likewise "Crossed Wires" is anthem laden crunchy pop of the highest order while "Learned to Surf" previously appeared on the "Leaves In The Gutter" E.
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