Portastatic Autumn Was A Lark

The idea behind this EP is somewhat better than its execution. It won't convert any stalwart supporters of Mac McCaughan's Superchunk, which is really too bad, because earlier this spring Portastatic quietly released one of the year's loveliest albums, The Summer of the Shark. This EP consists of a boisterous new track, some offbeat covers, and some live recordings of songs from their previous record — all over the map, but an indulgent treat for fans. The accompanying notes provide a succinct account of how Portastatic grew into a live band, which surprisingly enough occurred after they recorded their artful 9/11 anti-concept album. This EP, however, suffers from a split personality; it is either an album of live acoustic tracks from U.S. college radio or a collection of studio-recorded covers, and had a little more care gone into its issuing, it might have been a less scattered document of their recent evolution. Admittedly a stopgap measure, it does bode well for the next album, and should forever eradicate the appellation "side project" from future considerations of the band. (Merge)