Majesty Shredding

On their first disc in nine years, these indie-rock greats mix the anthemic tumult of their punky early Nineties with the realism and songcraft of their mature late Nineties to come up with a Blood on the Tracks for graying Converse kids. Mac McCaughan shouts about the wages of aging over bracing, buoyant two-guitar clatter that refuses to let his wizened angst weigh him down (even when he's singing lines like "Time and transition is a wave that'll put you overboard"). No youngsters this side of Arcade Fire (who record for the Chunk's Merge Records) articulate ambivalence with such skill or heart. Few even try.

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