Superchunk: Misfits & Mistakes: Singles, B-Sides & Strays 2007-2023 (Merge) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  


Misfits & Mistakes: Singles, B-Sides & Strays 2007-2023


Nov 17, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Following the pattern but doubling the size of their three previous clean-up collections, Chapel Hill’s heroically brilliant Superchunk have seen fit here to unlock a treasure trove overflowing with gems, oddities, and curiosities. Spanning the time from the end of the band’s semi-hiatus (this collection is named for their “comeback” 7-inch) to the present day, this 50-tracker illuminates their prolific output since returning full-time to the fray.

The four studio albums they’ve released in the last 13 years have been among the best of their career (2013’s I Hate Music may even actually be the definitive ‘Chunk record), but they have, understandably, become more somber in tone as our fucked up times have demanded. Those wondering if the band has become a dour proposition should be thrilled by this essential collection, which vividly details the group’s wicked sense of humor, willingness to be weird, and fanboy passion for the bands they love.

Covers as disparate and inspired as The Cure’s “Inbetween Days,” “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, and The Minutemen’s “Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing” nestle gleaming alongside, to pick at random, a suite of gorgeous acoustic takes of tracks that originally appeared in overdriven, kinetic form on What a Time to Be Alive, which include guest vocals from Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and A Giant Dog’s Sabrina Ellis. Caustic, glorious tunes released only as limited run 7-inches or digital freebies such as the excellent climate change protest song “Our Work is Done” and “Everything Hurts” stand shoulder to shoulder with alternative takes of fan favorites like the unbearably joyous “Learned to Surf” and soulful record store hymnal “Me & You & Jackie Mitoo.”

It’s a thrilling trip, with a guest singer (Eleanor Friedberger, Damian Abraham, Norman Blake), a goofy Halloween-release cover (yes, of course they do a couple of Misfits songs), or a previously obscure rough diamond around every corner. Superchunk remind us so often why they remain one of the greatest guitar bands of a generation with their insanely melodic, rapturously supercharged, endlessly loveable punk rock and this expansive set is testament to their continued majesty and mirth. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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