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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Superchunk Tops a Lollapalooza of a Club Show

April 12, 1993|STEVE HOCHMAN

It looked and sounded like an audition for "Lollapalooza '94" at the Palace on Friday, with Superchunk, Rocket From the Crypt and Wax--three touted young rock bands--sharing the bill. And if the annual alternative-rock tour's organizers are looking for acts to wipe away any taint of pretentiousness, they'd do well to consider these three next year.

At first on Friday, headliner Superchunk seemed to be merely reviving the innocence of early power-punk with a clean collegiate sheen. But the strength of the North Carolina quartet's songs--joyous releases tied to the personal, even petty, frustrations and pleasures of everyday life--revealed a depth recalling the early Replacements: almost a perfect balance of sloppy rock energy and sloppy thoughtfulness.

L.A.-based Wax opened, putting the emphasis on the fun side of punk--a youthful antidote to the despairing howl of Alice in Chains et al. San Diego's Rocket From the Crypt, looking like five guys who stepped out of a Milwaukee bowling alley circa "American Graffiti," darkened the mood slightly with its intense, industrial-strength punkabilly. But there's an exhilarating rush and striking originality to the band's music, which covers a range indicating a tremendous amount of potential.

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