Review: Rock veterans still have it

Michael Bragg

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Not many bands have the track record of alternative rock veterans Dinosaur Jr.

Starting from humble beginnings, the band managed to put out consistently satisfying albums and – for the most part – keep their original members.

And 27 years later, they’ve released their 10th studio album, “I Bet on Sky”, a lethargic tour de force.

Dinosaur Jr., consisting of front-man and guitarist J. Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph, reintroduce fans to the crunchy, Jurassic sound for which they’re known.

But that’s not to say they can’t mellow out, too.

“Stick a Toe In” and “What Was That” are more Brontosaurus versus T-Rex.

Fans of old Dino Jr. should not have a hard time learning to love this album. They’re a band who doesn’t compromise their sound. Those who are fans of Barlow and his other projects, including Sebahdoh, will be pleased to find his singing and songwriting featured on “Rude” and “Recognition.”

The lo-fi sound which Barlow helped to pioneer is a nice contrast to Mascis’ brooding solos and trademark whine. But don’t worry, there is plenty of brooding and whining in this album to supply multiple teens with ample angst for the entirety of their pubescent years.

The second track on the album, “Watch the Corners,” starts with heavy chugging on the guitar which breaks into long, rich strums. Then, Mascis lets out a half-sung, half-mumbled verse, strangely complementing the music. The bridge is introduced by an acoustic guitar and then bursts forth again into heavy distortion-drenched strums. To tie things up, the last couple of minutes of the song feature an extended shred by Mascis so righteous it would make a bald eagle cry firework tears. It’s amazing how a song so sonically ponderous can move and sound so effortless.

The song even has a video featuring Tim Heidecker, of TV show “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”, as a father getting involved in his daughter’s rebellious romance. It’s definitely worth a watch.

The album was released on September 18 on Jagjaguwar Records, the same record company responsible for the likes of Bon Iver and The Cave Singers . It’s another great collection to the Dinosaur Jr. discography and overall a great listen.

But be warned – your face may melt.

Rating: 4 out of 4 stars.

Story: CONNOR CHILDERS, Intern A&E Reporter