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Leaves In the Gutter - EP

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Album Review

After the release of 2003's Cup of Sand compilation, Superchunk kept a pretty low profile for the next few years. Apart from a few appearances at a benefit or festivals and a song for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force soundtrack ("Misfits & Mistakes," featuring Meatwad on vocals), the band was inactive. The individual members kept so busy at things like session work, raising kids, making solo albums, and running one of the most successful record labels on the planet that it seemed like Superchunk's days of recording might be over. 2009's Leaves in the Gutter EP shot that theory down in a blaze of riffs, impassioned vocals, and huge indie rock hooks the likes of which the band trademarked in the '90s. The four songs here are crisply recorded, fiercely played rockers that could have easily found a home on Foolish or Here's Where the Strings Come In. The experimentation and stretching the band was beginning to do on their last couple of records has been forgotten, this is flat-out indie rock designed to pin you to the wall with volume, passion, and dueling guitars. "Learned to Surf" is the song that will end up on the greatest-hits album but the other three tracks (which include the Mac-sung version of "Misfits & Mistakes") also have all the guts and guitars we rely on Superchunk to deliver. Any thoughts that the band had nothing to offer in 2009 prove sorely misguided and the Leaves in the Gutter EP is hopefully a herald of more recordings from one of the great American rock & roll bands.


Formed: 1989 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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