Published May 06, 2015Non-Believers, the first true solo effort from Superchunk's nasal frontman, is a departure from his main band's high-energy slacker rock. While the sound is certainly more intimate and low-key than his main band's penchant for guitar blasts, the album still manages to provide a fair amount of vigour to a group of songs inspired by a time when bands were, according to McCaughan, "using keyboards and drum machines to relate through their music a disaffection or alienation."
Not that keyboards and drum machines can't be vigorous, but McCaughan is at his most successful when they're more of an accompaniment to his driving guitar, as on the thick, cheery swell of "Only Do," or smooth haze of "Our Way Free." "Lost Again" drifts along on the subtle strength of its take-it-easy drum track and simple, chiming guitar riff. "Box Batteries," though, is probably the tune with the most simple and effective cool here, with its fuzzy, overdriven riffs.
"Real Darkness" is the most pure example of what McCaughan set out to do, but it's a bit sleepy, regardless of how lovely it is. Non-Believers is an easy record to enjoy, but there isn't much more going on. (Merge)