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Superchunk

Perhaps no band was more emblematic of the true spirit of American indie rock during the 1990s than Superchunk, the pride of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Following the D.I.Y. ethic to the letter, the bandmembers operated solely by their own rules, ignoring all passing trends by sticking to their trademark sound -- typified by the buzzing guitars and high, impassioned vocals of frontman Mac McCaughan -- and rejecting all major-label advances in favor of the unlimited freedom afforded by owning their own company, the highly successful Merge Records. Although Superchunk's resistance to the overtures of the music industry may have deprived them of the wider audience their work deserved, perhaps their greatest legacy remains their unwavering dedication to the indie tradition, a model that other up-and-coming bands often strive to emulate.

Superchunk were formed in the college town of Chapel Hill in 1989 by singer/guitarist McCaughan, bassist Laura Ballance, drummer Chuck Garrison, and guitarist Jack McCook. Initially dubbed merely Chunk -- the "Super" prefix was later added to avoid confusion with a similarly named New York City avant jazz band -- the group issued its debut single, What Do I, on the Merge label, which was jointly run by McCaughan and Ballance. The follow-up was 1990's epochal Slack Motherf**ker, MacCaughan's blistering tirade against a lazy Kinko's co-worker. The single was immediately hailed on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the definitive indie anthems of the era, and with the subsequent release of their self-titled debut LP, Superchunk were widely celebrated among the most promising young bands in America.

As the success of acts like Nirvana and Pearl Jam made Seattle the early-'90s music scene du jour, label heads scrambled to locate the next alternative rock hotbed. Chapel Hill became the consensus choice, and Superchunk were tapped as the Next Big Thing. The quartet -- which had subsequently exchanged McCook for guitarist Jim Wilbur -- soon found itself in the middle of a major-label bidding war, but the bandmembers defiantly stuck to their guns, remaining on Merge for their brilliant 1991 sophomore effort No Pocky for Kitty, recorded by Steve Albini and distributed by Matador. A singles collection, Tossing Seeds, followed in 1992, and a year later Superchunk -- now with new drummer Jon Wurster -- returned with the superb On the Mouth, highlighted by the singles "Mower" and "The Question Is How Fast."

In addition to Superchunk's relentless tour itinerary and prolific recording schedule, McCaughan released the 1994 LP I Hope Your Heart Is Not Brittle, the first full-length release from his side project Portastatic. Even as media attention shifted elsewhere, Superchunk forged ahead, following the release of 1994's Foolish with Incidental Music, a second compilation of singles, B-sides, compilation tracks, and other assorted offerings. Released in 1995, Here's Where the Strings Come In heralded a subtle refinement of their core sound, and was supported by a tour on the second stage at that summer's Lollapalooza festival; the first single and video, the surging "Hyper Enough," was even a minor hit. A brief hiatus preceded the release of the 1996 EP The Laughter Guns, the full-length Indoor Living appeared the next year, and Superchunk returned again in 1999 with Come Pick Me Up.

Ten years on, Superchunk remained as prolific as ever with their eighth full-length release, Come Pick Me Up, which arrived in 2001. A third collection of singles, the double-disc Cup of Sand, followed in 2003, compiling the band's singles and assorted rare tracks from 1995 to 2002. Superchunk contributed songs to various compilations over the following years, including a humorous duet with Meatwad, the meatball-shaped character from Comedy Central's Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which ultimately appeared on the show's soundtrack. They also released material on their own, including the 2009 EP Leaves in the Gutter. The band's ninth album, Majesty Shredding, arrived the following September. They showed no signs of slowing down and released I Hate Music in the summer of 2013, following it up with a monthlong U.S. tour. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The First Part

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Track List: Mower

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Track List: The Question is How Fast

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Track List: FOH (Single)

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Track List: Me & You & Jackie Mittoo (Single)

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Track List: This Summer / Cruel Summer (Single)

Comments

hyrnsyboy
The chills si!
Love them all but my love affair with Superchunk began with No Pocky For Kitty!!! And I've never looked back!!!
SLACK MOTHERF****R is an awesome song!
Nicko, Here's Where the Strings Come In and their newest album I Hate Music are the best in my opinion.
Who likes this s**t eww s**t looks like a** and sounds like s**t
nicko252008
Just got into these guys love em, what studio album rocks the most?? suggestions. .
ARE THESE GUYS THE PIXIES II?
Well. It's happened again. SOMEONE'S s h i t my pants!
Am i the only one who noticed that it says meatwad was on comedy central? Also love superchunk but what the hell does it have to do with CRASS? Confused by pandora yet again. Yesterday it played pavement on Dozer radio.
I think that Pandora misspelled Cardinal Bass by adding the leading B.......
Awesome music
ballofgoofne s s
This band just isn't doing it for me. No disrespect to the fans.
decal_12
@cerpin47
That post wasn't nearly as annoying as his next post. He seems like one of those guys who just likes to hear himself talk.
Only a little exposure to Superchunk, but I just wanted to say that Majesty Shredding is really good. Just solid songwriting, played with energy and enthusiasm - It's not all I'll ever need to listen to, but why much it up with anything extraneous?
@ Cardinal Bass:
You're a fool! Why would a band that came before the band in question, owe anything to that band?! The Space-time continuum strictly prohibits that. Use your mind, son!! They were clearly saying that Superchunk influenced a lot of bands that came after them. ZERO room for your argument here.
NC
You know I saw them live. They were kinda meh compared to all the other acts I saw around them. Of course they were all old so...I think they might not have been on their A-Game.
Living in NC during th 90's was pretty frigging cool, now that i look back on it. wouldn't even know where to start the list of bands that just rocked a$$ back then. what the hell happened to music?!?!?!?
Love the duet with meatwad. "One, two, AND three". Cracks me up every time.
On my first exposure to them, I gotta say I'm pleased. They remind of that unfinished, rough sound I miss so much from back in the day. Toad the Wet Sprocket had it, Jane's Addiction had it, Hell, I even loved the way Ugly Kid Joe used it. I miss this kinda stuff.
where is superchunk when we need them but boy they did beat kurt in making more records than he did.poor taste ? cant have everything.s u p e r c h u n k got to make a hundred albums and live and kurt made 2 or 3 and got immortality- b u t didn't get to see bean grw up.superchun k makes me morose...
Jangle on!
Someone's biting the hook at both ends..
WIMP ROCK! GIVE IT UP!
drennan.s
Sunshine State playing right now....such a great song
mythicobelis k
go skateboardin g .
mothlit
music is all about a feeling, maybe you feel different 20 years later. Great music
I remember seeing this band at theMasquerad e in Atl , sometime around 93 , an , unless i was too high too remember correctly , I think they opened for TADD! Seriously! Man i miss those crazy billings. Does anyone remember when Helmet,Bodyc o u n t , M i n i s t r y and Rollins Band were on tour together? Maybe i WAS too hi in the 90's , but that s**t rocked!
In defense of Helldiva...t i m e can make music seem more tame and saccharine. There was a time when Led Zeppelin was cutting edge now they are used to sell things in TV commercials. In the early 90s Superchunk was cutting edge. Maybe it's nostalgia or maybe they stand the test of time, but I still crank it up when I hear Superchunk. I can't say that about Led Zeppelin. The part about boys not getting laid, may be true...I wouldn't doubt it though. Check out Hyper Enough by Superchunk.
helldiva.... y o u must have slept through the early 90s. its ok not to like something but to decry it as uninventive while never experiencing it yourself is myopic.
Music by BOYS who couldn't get laid and were beat up constantly throughout school. There is nothing inventive in this crap whatsoever.
matheny0138
great
Luvs them long time
I get chills whenever i listen to Superchunk. Portastatic is great too.
Superchunk is great. More chunk please.
bromide01
Why are they even still around?
Precision Auto rules
seriously. its been 5 years where the hell is the new album
warehouselov e 7 5
That's hilarious tpmarczak. I think this thread got confused with John Tesh's. Ahhhhhh, it's not a Baby Ruth in the punchbowl son. This is part of being a viable, long-lasting floater....
joelhorton
New e.p. in April!
Its about time.
Wish I was going to Coachella.
joelhorton
On Mergerecords . c o m they have a new Chunk live album that you can stream and download. Its from '93...good stuff.
tpmarczak
Cardinal Bass, do you find yourself floating in a punch bowl at the Superchunk party?
Being a prolific artist doesn't make the music great. Bands that do this, fall prey to a "sameness" problem, where concurrent albums sound similar. Often, it's better to shelve an album for a year, & re-visit it prior to release. This way, you may have different thoughts on it's structure, sound or production. You also allow for the use of new instruments, production techniques, production staff, studio, & in some bands, different members. This is part of being a viable, long-lasting band.
joelhorton
I use to like Superchunk when they actually released albums.
How long has it been now?
going on 8 years
there have been bands that have broken up and re-united in that amount of time.
Lets go chunk!!! get back in the studio.
melanieoliff
Dang... these dudes got like 17 flippin' albums!!
No Thank you. Guess you had to be there.....
rhcp_andrew
pretty sure he didn't mean it that way. lol.
stefanboone - How does a band, such as Metallica, or The Beatles, owe Superchunk "big time"? I'm very interested to understand your meaning.
these guys are the epitome of a great american DIY band. their whole collection of music during the 90's was the soundtrack to my life during that period (pavement,to o ) . on the road,going to school, hanging with friends...th a n k s superchunk.
awesome. i love indie music with my heart. <3
One of my all time favoites, even better live!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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