Even slackers have to grow up sometime. But while some of them, like [a]Pearl Jam[/a], go weird, others, like [a]Superchunk[/a], grow old gracefully.
Even in their brash early days, the ‘Chunk were as concerned with writing songs as they were making a racket, so mellowing with age suits them. This LP squashes 13 pure pop moments into just over 40 minutes, proving that they haven’t lost the gift of brevity, but – no doubt down to the intervention of producer Jim O’Rourke – owes more to psychedelia than hardcore punk. Hopefully, it’s a natural progression, rather than an attempt to stay with the smart money.
It sounds kosher enough. Songs like ‘Good Dreams’ sprint daintily over staccato punk rhythms, but it’s the hazy ‘Hello Hawk’ that best displays a new depth, the sparse string arrangements allowing Mac McCaughan‘s reedy voice to sit more easily with the music than before.
Given McCaughan‘s ballad-orientated dabbling as Portastatic, ‘Come Pick Me Up’ shouldn’t be a surprise, and the new [a]Superchunk[/a] – slick, not slack – have retained a dignity that the likes of Mudhoney have long since lost.