Leaves in the Gutter
Indie rock stalwarts Superchunk deliver the goods with their umpteenth EP Leaves in the Gutter. After experimenting with keyboards and strings for their last few releases, the North Carolina natives return with their trademark sound of chunky chords, swirling guitars, and frontman Mac McCaughan’s earnest teenage voice.
“Learned to Surf” starts and ends Leaves in the Gutter. The full-band version kicks off the EP strongly and the whispered acoustic demo completes the five tracks. Each song ends on an unresolved chord, but Superchunk sound as assured and confident as ever.
In fact, Superchunk released “Misfits and Mistakes” as a single two years ago. This multi-layered song contains the EP’s title in its lyrics. McCaughan sings “say you will/ say you will/ gather like leaves in the gutter/ Say you will/ say you will/ put all the random pieces together.”
But there’s nothing random about Superchunk’s longevity or success. After two decades of making music and running their own label (which includes Arcade Fire, Spoon, and Dinosaur Jr.), Superchunk have survived changing fads and a fickle business. How refreshing.
Merge Records: www.mergerecords.com