The classic alternative rock trio Dinosaur Jr return with their fourth album post-reunion and show they’ve no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Dinosaur Jr. managed the impossible back in 2007. They became one of a small number of bands to reform and release new material to pretty much equal acclaim as their classic 80’s albums. „Beyond“ was a stunning album which sounded like the band had barely aged, and that spear of creativity lasted into 2009’s equally excellent „Farm“. „I Bet On Sky“ however bucked this trend slightly. Whilst not a bad album, it certainly was a dip in quality for the band, almost as if they were on autopilot.
The trio must have felt the same way about it as “Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not” is a step back in a better direction. Sure, there’s nothing on display here that radically changes their sound, but they’ve managed to present another collection of strong songs. Well, mostly. The first half flitters between pure noise and overdriven guitars (see opening track “Goin Down”) and propulsive college rock numbers (the excellent single “Tiny”) whilst managed to feature one of Lou Barlow’s most delicate and moving songs in the acoustic led “Love Is …”.
J Mascis steals the show as always, though, with his effortless guitar solos. In the hands of a lesser guitarist, there’d be the risk of wanking away at the expense of the song itself. Mascis never allows this. Each solo is intricately working with the song to great effect. The highlight of this is “Lost All Day”, where Mascis’ solo intertwines both his vocals and the central guitar riff, before he lets rip to close the song beautifully.
The album does have a few tracks which let it down. “Good To Know” and “Mirror” are both pure filler tracks which don’t add anything to the album. Also, whilst it’s to the albums strength that it’s a familiar sound and the group focused on strong song-writing, there’s the feeling that it doesn’t offer anything new and is just more of the same from the group. Saying that, you can’t knock a band that writes a song as brilliant as “Knocked Around”. One half a gentle lullaby, the other a blistering rock freakout full of feedback, the sudden shift in tone of the song is infectious and masterfully pulled off. So sure, this may be nothing new, but it’s definitely an enthralling and fun listen, that’s a worthy addition to Dinosaur Jr’s already rich catalogue.
Jagjaguwar (Cargo) | VÖ 05.08.16