Merge Records is reissuing Superchunk’s ‘Come Pick Me Up’ for fans to dunk into once more. The album is a step in the band’s slow-burning comeback, which started in 2010 with the release of ‘Majesty Shredding’, after nearly a decade-long hiatus. Originally produced by Jim O’Rourke, this album saw the band take a new direction with their sound, expanding instrumentation and dipping into fresher, uptempo riffs. Most noticeable are the horn and string accompaniments that pop up sporadically on tracks ‘1000 Pounds’ and ‘Pink Clouds’. What begins as a slightly polished compilation of indie-rock jams suddenly resurfaces from the counter-culture it belongs to – it becomes pop.
This is not a negative observation. You immerse yourself into a youthful sound that is, indeed, a pick-me-up. It’s like sitting back in your sweats and watching ‘Empire Records’.
This reissue is the 3rd remastered release from Superchunk since 2010, who seem to want their back-catalogue to reemerge. Through ‘Come Pick Me Up’, the band can reconnect with their younger selves, who in their late 20s wrote an album that dips into themes of bittersweet love and the holding onto moments of youthful wondering.
Back then they were at the gateway of adolescence, and now looking back still see these days with romanticism – for example ‘Pink Clouds’, McCaughan sings about the few moments before day becomes night, the veil of sunset that covers him and his companion, both wondering what might happen as night hits.
This album’s original release was during a time before the widespread digitisation of music, where the sharing of tracks was predominantly physical and more intimate. On the LP and CD formats of this reissue, Superchunk have added 8 bonus tracks of demos and acoustic versions. It’s an opportunity to retain that affection in hearing the raw talent and heart of these musicians for the first time. ‘Hello Hawk’ and ‘Smarter Hearts’ are tracks that you want to hear over and over because they’re simple and lovable, but you can also enjoy the airy, feedback-heavy guitar that makes this album a 90s indie-rock staple for your nostalgic listening pleasure.