What a Time to Be Alive
Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2018 Ratings: #145 / 361
User Score
Based on 57 ratings
2018 Ratings: #196
Your Review


A.V. Club

What A Time To Be Alive is the rawest Superchunk album since the band’s 1990 debut and undoubtedly its most ferocious. The band’s well-honed style of highly melodic, punk-inflected indie rock remains, but with a serrated edge.

The Line of Best Fit
Never before have we heard such scorn spat from the mouth of iconic singer Mac McCaughan and, unlike anything they’ve recorded since their early singles the music is there to match; relentless, breakneck punk rock that can barely disguise its rebellious aggression.

What a Time to Be Alive is the work of a vital band making music that needs to be made right now. They wrap their hard-won wisdom in urgent punk anthems and deliver their pop songs with an electric punch. It is desperate, important, and powerful music and it might just be the best album they've ever made.


More powerful and focused than any of their recent records, the 11th Superchunk album is finally the one that feels genuinely urgent, both of a particular moment and built to outlast it.

The Skinny
This infectious record is a timely reminder that punk’s greatest trick has always been to make the isolated feel less alone.
Thirty years deep into their career, Superchunk throw yet another left turn into a career full of them, offering up a protest record about the people for the people. What a time to be alive, indeed.
Rolling Stone
He may be a disgraceful garbage-fire of a president but Trump has accomplished one good thing so far: He's inspired the best Superchunk album in recent memory.
The 405

What a Time to Be Alive is a minor miracle in that it provides an escape while acknowledging the depths of how fucked we are. It’s a hurricane of pop-punk fury with as much ferocity as anything the band recorded 25+ years ago.

Northern Transmissions
Through punchy guitars and lyricism that straddles poignant and cheeky, the album presses all the right buttons to give a snapshot of where we are right now.
Crack Magazine
Nostalgia such as this never sounded so rousingly current.

Whilst being understandable in light of recent events, the incessant rant at US turmoil could prove difficult to consume for non-Americans. That said, there are plenty of power-punk melodies to ensure What A Time To Be Alive isn’t condemned to an early shelf life, even if to put it amongst their best work would be a stretch too far.

Under The Radar

All the raucousness of What a Time to Be Alive remains positive and upbeat despite contemplating situations of which so many despair.

Tiny Mix Tapes

If death and despondence feel like natural conclusions to being alive, then What a Time to Be Alive is the thrill of churning the natural into the transcendent.

Spectrum Culture

No attempt is made to stretch these songs out or noodle around; the band’s aim is to get the message across as quickly and as angrily as they can while still remaining true to themselves.

No Ripcord

Superchunk do come back full circle with a timeless, uniform body of work, though it also takes them back a few years after their late-career breakthroughs Majesty Shredding and I Hate Music.

At it’s best points the album is defiant in the face of a country it’s not in agreement with, however it also leaves us just wanting just a little more.
God Is in the TV

Disappointingly, what’s immediately apparent is from What A Time To Be Alive is that all of that vulnerability and nuance I associated with the band has been stripped from the production on this record.

Drowned in Sound
Long-time fans of the band could well find everything they are looking for here in a post-Trump Superchunk record, but there's little to elevate this decidedly average work above the line of anything curious new fans should get excited about.
Jun 14, 2018
Love eeet!
Apr 9, 2018
Tras cinco años de silencio, el cuarteto de Carolina del Norte logra un disco atemporal, breve, visceral y necesario. ‘What a Time to be Alive’ es un momentum musical que hace recordar al auditor cuán importante es el punk rock en nuestra paleta musical, o básicamente en lo que escuchamos día a día. Sin dudas, un álbum que podría contentar y unir tanto a los amantes del punk de vieja escuela con los seguidores del rock alternativo de ... read more
Feb 25, 2018
Exciting! Visceral! Fun! But I don't want to listen to it again. It's nothing interesting, it's just propulsive and cool. Does that make sense? I have saved the opener and Erasure. The rest was good music. But. Eh.
Feb 22, 2018
Superchunk return with their first album in 5 years, sounding honestly more focused than they have since the mid-90's. The last few recordings put out by there Power Pop/Indie Rock legends have been certainly OK, but lacked the determination and energy of their 90's heyday. But this album is shockingly urgent, politically charged, and wildly energetic. Also, in a bizarre twist, this is, in parts, their most Punk release ever. Hell, part of me think that this is some bizarre lost classic the ... read more
Feb 18, 2018*
At this point in their career, Superchunk really have nothing to prove. However, on this release, the band just doesn't quite bring the tunes that are up to par with their usual songwriting chops. The lyrics are still good (on this release, the band addresses the current political atmosphere in the United States), and there are quite a few catchy hooks scattered throughout What a Time to Be Alive. However, the real draw is hearing Mac sing in his patented nasally, eternally youthful yelp. As ... read more
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Track List
  1. What a Time to Be Alive
  2. Lost My Brain
  3. Break the Glass
  4. Bad Choices
  5. Dead Photographers
  6. Erasure
  7. I Got Cut
  8. Reagan Youth
  9. Cloud of Hate
  10. All for You
  11. Black Thread
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton

Added on: November 8, 2017