Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Album Review: Dinosaur Jr - Beyond

2007's Beyond was Dinosaur Jr's first album in ten years, but it may as well have been ten months - the material here takes up from where their mid 90s albums left off.  J Mascis is in supreme form on guitar riffs, and he welcomes back estranged original bassist Lou Barlow for the first time in nearly two decades.  The album is full of sun-kissed, blissed-out rockers like Almost Ready and Crumble and is dominated by Mascis' towering guitar, along with some laughably ropy vocals.

Pick Me Up is basically a long lead-in to a hugely satisfying guitar solo, and, so long as you aren't looking for much depth to the lyrics, Barlow's Back To Your Heart is a swaggering stomp of a song.  Mascis and co sound revitalised on some of the heavier tracks like It's Me and Barlow's Lightning Bulb.

The one weak spot is the plodding acoustic strum of I Got Lost.  Here Mascis sings falsetto, and though it's a rare instance of proper 'singing', it doesn't help matters.  Much better in a mellow vein is We're Not Alone, which bobs along amiably, evoking the Lemonheads.  The album is definitely up to scratch with their older work, ushering in a great Dinosaur Jr second act.