What A Time To Be Alive
Rating: 9.5 broken rakes out of 10
I’ve “reviewed” a lot of Superchunk releases, and by “review” I mean fanboy rambling from someone who has considered them one of his top three favorite bands for nearly thirty years (holy shit I’m old)...so don’t expect any earth-shattering insight here. Guess what? You'll never believe it, but it is my opinion that this record rules. RULES!!! Due to the current sad state of this country under the leadership of King Grab-Ass, Superchunk has come out with the most upbeat, angry/aggro record that they’ve released since their first couple of records in the early nineties. Much to my delight, it also appears to be the most talked about record they’ve probably ever had - the critical praise is effusive, plentiful, and has come from nearly every media outlet of note. I would suggest reading some of those for a more critical breakdown of what’s going on in “What A Time To Be Alive,” but the crib notes are: everything is fucked, it's time to burn the motherfucker down and let a better class of people (aka not old rich white people) try again. There’s exactly one mellow track here, the closer “Black Thread” - everything else sounds like…well, I can already picture how sweaty drummer Jon Wurster is going to get playing these songs. No stranger to having help from the occasional guest vocalist on their albums, this time they threw down the gauntlet and roped in five of them – Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog), Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), and Skylar Gudasz – can’t really blame them for wanting to be a part of such a great record, one that is going to be played in my car a lot all summer long. Gonna be tough not driving fast listening to this one.