Superchunk - I Hate Music (Cover Artwork)


Superchunk: I Hate MusicI Hate Music (2013)
Merge Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

iTunes StoreAmazon

Despite starting off in their traditional feedback swell, I Hate Music finds Mac McCaughan jumping in acoustic with "Overflows." The rest of the ??Chunk kick into a mid-tempo electric jam featuring Mac's high whine, creative drum beats courtesy of Jon Wurster, concrete basslines by Laura Ballance and screaming guitar leads from Jim Wilbur. Just the stuff we can expect from the ultra-consistent Merge leaders Superchunk.

The hits here are clearly "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo" and the previously-released single "FOH." The first of those contains the titular line: "I hate music, what is it worth? / It can't bring you back to this Earth," in one of the better indie rock hooks of the year. In an interview with Grantland, Mac expounds upon the joke with a serious tone, saying that as we get older, for some people music doesn't have the same power to dictate emotions like it used to. For him, and luckily for all of us, it does still have that power. "FOH" i.e. "front of the house," carries with it some awesome lines like, "How's everything at the front of the house? / How's everything at the front of the house? / The drums exploded and our amps are down / But Matthew's kinda wired and we're comin' around." I don't know who Matthew is, but I bet he's pretty rad.

"Staying Home" is punker than anything I've heard from Superchunk since the early '90s. The 1:15 blast rocks double-time drums, screeching, trebely guitars and a more shouted vocal delivery from Mac. "Low F" on the other hand, dials things down a pinch to a walking tempo, utilizing some jangly guitars without being anywhere near a ballad. ""You caught me singin'!" Mac wails, a situation I can definitely relate to. "Breaking Down" takes the mid-tempo route as well, with crunchy guitar stabs and a tom-heavy beat. It builds to sweet "oooos", followed by the title line in one of the bigger hooks found on the record. "Out of The Sun" is the legitimate ballad here, in the vein of "Fractures in Plaster" from Majesty Shredding. Closer "What Can We Do" starts off slowly but hits hard in the drums, building over six minutes to an interesting chorus vocal, saying the title line in multiple rhythms and contours, showcasing Mac's unique writing style. Synths fill the sound in the long verses, adding interest in the fitting end track.

The only knock against Superchunk in general is how much their sound has stayed the same over the years. They haven't really strayed from the template they set as early as Here's Where the Strings Come In way back in 1995. Within an album they vary it up plenty, but from album to album they seem to use those same tricks. Those tricks are fucking awesome, so I don't really care, but this could be a possible complaint with I Hate Music. Is it just Majesty Shredding II: Return of the Shred? As their second album since the nine-year gap after Here's To Shutting Up, I Hate Music doesn't have the "reunion album" thing going for it, but luckily Superchunk never made a big deal of all that in the first place. They never technically broke up anyway.

And thank goodness, this record is so good we don't need to focus on those details. With I Hate Music, Superchunk will once again land near the top of my year-end list.


People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - On the Impossible PastJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyJapandroids - Celebration RockFugazi - In on the Kill TakerRed City Radio - TitlesAgainst Me! - Transgender Dysphoria BluesThe Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenSuperchunk - Majesty ShreddingMasked Intruder - Masked IntruderPropagandhi - Failed States

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Kickaha (September 6, 2013)

Really like the vibe and the flow from start to finish. Fun, bouncy, and upbeat. Great album for the summer (or any season for that matter). Low F, Trees of Barcelona, and FOH have been my favorites so far.

FreewaterfallJr (August 22, 2013)

Majesty Shredding was a little bit better but I Hate Music is still superb .Void,Your Theme, Staying Home and Me and You and Mittoo are all classics.

Nap (August 21, 2013)

Majesty Shredding >>> I Hate Music

publichousingv2 (August 21, 2013)


baldsteve (August 21, 2013)

Nothing on this has hit me as hard as Majesty Shredding or any of the previous records but new Superchunk is infinitely better than no Superchunk.

blanktapesemptybottles (August 20, 2013)

from first listen, majesty shredding is better

slackMFr (August 20, 2013)

Greatest band ever, review is awful. Who complains about a band's particular sound? Every band has their formula. That is a weak knock on any artist.

misterspike (August 20, 2013)

Any day with new Superchunk makes that day instantly better.

kursk64 (August 20, 2013)

Have never listened to this band. I guess this is a good a place to start as any.

Problematiclogic (August 20, 2013)

I think I'll have a hard time enjoying any record more than this one in 2013. 'Trees of Barcelona' is the only song that's pretty poor. 'Void' is one of the best Superchunk songs ever.

renaldo69 (August 20, 2013)

I never thought I'd get into this band...or Masked Intruder as much...they sink in after a couple listens. Nicely too.

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go