Thursday, 17 July 2008

SUPERCHUNK: Skip Steps 1 & 3

A boom and a curtain of swooping blades unveil this example of a strain of indie guitar rock that seems to have become lost to pop follow-up. No Pocky For Kitty was Superchunk's second album, and the North Carolina four dipped back into contented obscurity after briefly being a music press future in the very early nineties, but "Skip Steps 1 & 3" has a three-dimensional attack to its brushes - together with its similarly sliding vocals - which fix it in the firm, immediate post-Daydream Nation "tradition." Albini recorded it, but production "credits" on the sleeve were given to bassist Laura Ballance, who "sat in the right chair" albeit with "eyes closed."

With its increasingly frantic, popping cries of "Why don't you move?" and climactic refrain of "you've been sucking wind so long," the song is an impassioned cry to action and decision - remember that this just about preceded Nevermind and everything that allowed and condemned - from bop-boggling Mac McCaughan tearing at the cocktails of if only and yes but. "Well it's your free time in the back of your skull," he observes, "and that's fine for now, but what comes after?" The propulsion is pop but the threat or promise of immolating noise is always in the middleground, even though it is forever on poise and never forces itself forward. The overall feeling is not one of frustration but of overdue joy, and Sloan, among others, took up some of this slack from thereonin.