The indie rockin’ punks [or is it punk indie rockers?] in Superchunk have already carved out a rich musical legacy for themselves. After close to 30 years in the game, ten albums under their belt, and influencing the modern rock landscape like few others, did anyone expect the band’s newest record, What A Time To Be Alive out February 16 on Merge Records, to be so damn exhilarating? Desperate times call for desperate measures and rocking tunes apparently.
Superchunk’s latest album is a defiant, anti-MAGA protest record and easily the most fired up the band has ever sounded. Fitting that Superchunk’s first foray into political commentary would come after the Trump administration’s wholesale dismantling of America. Crafted after the painful fog of the 2016 election, What A Time To Be Alive finds Superchunk hitting the e-brake on Trump train the only way they know how, with ridiculously catchy punk-ified bangers.
The album’s opening title track, and infectious first single, “What A Time To Be Alive” is a sardonic commentary on the ‘wave’ of pro-fascist conservativism that swept our current, uh…President [?] into office. “To see the rot in no disguise…the scum, the shame, the fucking lies, oh what a time to be alive” singer Mac McCaughan laments. The song, and really the album overall, is a sonic facepalm over America’s current socio-political landscape. The band’s amped up lyrics/message are carried by uncanny hooks and the frenzied energy they’ve pumped into these songs.
Musically, What A Time To Be Alive is one of the snappiest rock albums you’ll find these days. The guitars jangle, the melodies soar, the drums and bass lines shake the dance floor with gusto, this is how young rock bands in 2018 should sound like if they weren’t busy with electronic samples and DJs. Good luck trying to get tunes like “Erasure” “I Got Cut” and “All For You” out of your head. Songs like “Reagan Youth” and “Cloud of Hate” blaze along like vintage 80’s hardcore punk, but with Superchunk’s trademarked indie/pop sensibilities in tow to help wash it all down. 2018 is an election year, so remember to spin What A Time To Be Alive consistently and vote.
To purchase ‘What A Time To Be Alive’, click here!