Graham Reid | | 2 min read
Hard to believe, but Dinosaur Jr out of Massachusetts, first formed over 30 years ago.
They've been helmed by sole constant , singer-guitarist J. Mascis – although co-founder and bassist Lou Barlow, who left after the first five years, rejoined when the band was resurrected after an eight year hiatus ending in late '05.
A long and productive career (some fine solo projects by Mascis and Barlow) and with a new album out Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not . . .\
So where to start on a Dino buying spree?
Although You're Living All Over Me from the previous year was enormously influential (on grunge and indie.rock bands in the Eighties and early Nineties), this third album is where to tune in.
It's their breakthrough collection which wound up the jangle, the archetypal Dino.Jr noise, the classic pop components in their attack and just enough of their affection for somewhat wired-up and post-Neil Young folk-rock.
But the last of the original line-up with Barlow.
Green Mind (1991)
New York rock critic Robert Christgau was never a fan and dismissed this as "grunge on pot".
And that was a bad thing?
Well, be that as it may . . .
But this is also -- aside from being all-but a Mascis solo album after Barlow's departure -- a pretty thrilling ride of reductive rock and Mascis' take on country-rock.
Flying Cloud is a lovely dreamy ballad.
On pot, of course.
Hand It Over (1997)
The last album before the lengthy break.
This seeming-farewell collapsed their take on pop, metal-noise, massive chords and Mascis' own version of slacker folk-rock (as unique as Neil Young's whose spirit in conjured up on Alone) with colour from strings and horns.
And some guest singers.
Differently the same Dinosaur Jr.
I Bet on Sky (2012)
From their second life (Barlow back in the ranks), this one showed they'd lost none of their fire-power and power-rock (Rude).
But it also embraced their widescreen folk-rock (Almost Fare which Kurt Cobain might have admired and sung) and Mascis' archetypal melancholy (Stick a Toe In).
Either a return to form or them revisiting old tropes.
Mascis' solo career has presented some interesting albums, notably Free So Free (02, with The Fog) and Tied to Star (14).
Barlow's career with the lo-fi Sebadoh and Folk Implosion are worth checking out.
Lotta Dinosaur Jr and Dino-extended family out there for your listening pleasure.
As long as your pleasure involves something best described as LOUD