I Hate Music
Merge Records

So many awesome things were happening musically in the late ’80s. Along with the welcome (for many) demise of glam metal came scores of bands delivering new sounds—bands less concerned with their hair and pants and more intent on producing raw and thoughtful music. Whether you called it indie, college, or alternative, the genre gave way to bands like Mudhoney, Nirvana, Pavement, and the Lemonheads, and it was an exciting time to be a consumer of music.

Superchunk may not have been as big a name as some of its contemporaries coming out of the Pacific Northwest at the time, and there’s really nothing grunge-y about their music, but they were a big part of the changes that were happening on the landscape. It’s not easy to name another band able to arrange the level of beautifully hooky, guitar-fueled, power-punk tunes that these North Carolinians have been doing for a quarter century.

The group’s latest, I Hate Music, is more of the same. Melodic, gorgeously thick guitar hooks reign king throughout much of the 11 tracks, while frontman and guitarist Mac McCaughan—whose voice could be called the Geddy Lee of indie rock—wails lyrics that are more about happy than hate. One of the best records I’ve heard to date in 2013.

Must-hear tracks: “Low F” and “FOH”