Superchunk's Mac McCaughan isn't kidding when he declares, "I hate music. What is it worth? Can't bring anyone back to this earth."

But that dose of realism simply makes the band's "I Hate Music" (Merge) that much easier to love. Throughout the album, McCaughan moves between trying to keep the importance of music to a normal adult in perspective -- especially in "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo" and "Void" -- and getting carried away by its potential beauty ("Trees of Barcelona") and its overwhelming fun ("FOH").

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What makes "I Hate Music" such a treasure, though, is the way the fiery, post-punk guitars and raucous rhythms make each song even more intense.


"I Hate Music"


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BOTTOM LINE So many indie-rock reasons to love "Hate"