We’re often a bit sceptical about reunions, so when the new Dinosaur Jr album turned up at the end of last week, I guess many of us at Uncut feared the worst.
“Beyond”, we figured, might be a fairly cynical exigency: something to ensure Mascis, Barlow and Murph could have another lucrative season on the festival circuit after their jaunt in 2005.
But “Beyond” is actually very good indeed, not least because it seems to start up right where this Dinosaur line-up left off, at the end of 1988’s “Bug”. All the classic ingredients are in place: that weird mix of hardcore speed and classic rock lethargy; dopey shrugs in lieu of lyrics (has anyone written more unmemorable song titles than J Mascis?); some absolutely shredding solos.
Best of all, there’s an amazing Lou Barlow song here called “Back To Your Heart”. Since the trio split up in ’88, Barlow’s work fronting Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion proved that he was a much better songwriter than Mascis. But “Back To Your Heart” is a tantalising glimpse of what might have been, had Barlow’s tremulous confessionals been backed up by the pure slob energy of Mascis’ guitar playing. Kind of sad, in a way.
Incidentally, I’m going to try and post here daily about forthcoming releases that’ve turned up recently at Uncut. Any questions, opinions, constructive abuse etc, please leave a comment and we can talk.