by Jake McKenzie
photo by Jason Arthurs
Formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1989, Superchunk had the energy, high-velocity style, and DIY ethic of any great punk band from the very beginning. In fact, when a bidding war erupted over their debut album and every major label in America wanted to get their greasy hands on it, Superchunk decided to keep it indie and signed with Matador Records while founding their own label, the now iconic Merge Records. Superchunk went on to release beloved album after beloved album and now, nearly 30 years later, their 2018 offering What a Time to Be Alive proves they show no signs of slowing down. This is the first political album in Superchunk’s vast repertoire and, while it usually raises red flags when a punk band three decades deep decides to try out politics for the first time, they absolutely knocked it out of the park on this one. Which, by now, should come as no surprise.