With all due respect to J. Mascis and the legacy he built with Dinosaur Jr. in the 80’s (and in 2007’s Beyond)… I was all but over his more-whiny-than-usual-vocals and melodic lullabies that make up 2009’s Farm album. 2012’s I Bet on Sky was headed in the right direction bringing back fuzzy guitar solos between psych-pop progressions, but Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not brings Dinosaur Jr. back to the throne they’ve earned time and time again.
These guys have grown to show they can cradle the indie rock sound as much as they did for post-hardcore in their beginnings. And we could sit here and discuss the drama between J. Mascis and Lou Barlow (mainly) and Murph and their triumphant return to music… but most other reviews (and broad web searches, for that matter) will explore their past endeavors for you. Frankly, this album is too complete to discuss anything other than the music; it feels like the discontent is over, and focus on expansive composition and variety is here.
Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not opens with a Foo Fighters-like anthem Goin Down that’s catchy melody is sure to be stuck in your head for days. The first two punk rock tracks build you up just enough to be torn right back down by lingering nostalgia of the songs following. Love is… leads us back to reality with the wave of contrast that is Lou’s soft voice as he takes the lead. If you miss the old grungy guitar base and chaotic screaming solos from Dinosaur Jr.’s early albums, I Walk for Miles and Mirror won’t disappoint as J. Mascis proves he is still fully capable of crossing over to the dark side.
The tonal contrast from song to song throughout the entire album will keep the mind guessing what to expect and ultimately keep you enthralled from beginning to end. The group takes some of the best components from its earlier, darker albums and nurtures them in to a modern day smorgasbord featuring the musical branches they’ve experimented with in the past. Dinosaur Jr. definitely is not the rock band they were in the 80’s… nor should they be. J. Mascis has developed his voice and crafted guitar to bring us Dinosaur’s most polished album since the original three member’s return in 2007.
Infinite Loop – pretty self-explanatory
Replay on Repeat– worth playing from start to finish and revisiting
A Few Jewels – see bold font songs in review
One Time– worth playing from start to finish just to say you did and to reduce FOMO
Waste of Time – waste of time
Bleeding Ears – buy the record just to destroy it and save others from hearing impairment