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Superchunk: Indoor Living

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Superchunk

Album: Indoor Living
Label: Merge

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In 1994, Superchunk released Foolish, which slowed down the band's sound, wringing catchy hooks and minor-key beauty out of songs like "Driveway To Driveway." It was an unconventionally great record from a band best known for hyperactivity, though Superchunk has since reverted to its old, sped-up ways with a handful of solid releases. Now, with Indoor Living, the group brings back some mid-tempo melancholy, with mixed results: Singer Mac McCaughan's high, squeaky voice doesn't balance well with many of these arrangements, and too many tracks are just tepid, especially early on. Songs don't really gather any velocity until the wigged-out "Nu Bruises" shows up nearly midway through the record; the best, "The Popular Music," is buried in Indoor Living's second half. The album does grab you in other spots, as well, with a solid mid-tempo closing track ("Martinis On The Roof") and a ballad that takes a few listens to gel ("Every Single Instinct"). Indoor Living is far from the band's best record, but it possesses enough strong moments to win over Superchunk's already-won-over fans.