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CD of The Week

Week of 8/08/16

    Dinosaur Jr. - Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguwar)

    From the first note of the opening track 'Goin' Down,' listeners familiar with Dinosaur Jr. will likely reach a similar conclusion: this is the Dinosaur Jr. we know and love. Catchy songs, crunchy alt-pop guitars, melodic hooks, with vocal styling that seems like it shouldn't work but almost always does; that's Dinosaur Jr. in a nutshell.

    Formed in 1983 in Amherst, MA, the band has seen a lot of ups and downs, from being sued over their original name (they originally called themselves 'Dinosaur,' which was being utilized by a classic rock super-group at the time, hence the addition of 'Jr.' to the name), to line up changes, breakups and reconciliation, and ultimately a return by 2009 to the original lineup of the band.

    This new offering, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, shows that J. Mascis and company still know how to craft excellent music. The first single from the album, 'Tiny,' lyrically involves the singer expounding upon his inadequacy and moves with the Dinosaur Jr. pop momentum: a steady driving drum beat and solid guitar leads, with just enough rough edges to make it all feel youthful and energetic. Make sure to check out the 'Tiny' video online to see the true star of the video: a skateboarding, snoring bulldog!

    Even when the record slows down, as on tracks like 'Be A Part,' 'Knocked Around,' and 'Left/Right', the band still drives the musical point home. Mascis's warbling, slightly off-key vocals work surprisingly well on the slower material, which has not always been the case on past Dinosaur Jr. releases.

    Overall, the band has put forth a tight, memorable alt-pop-rock record for the long-time fans to savor as well as for new listeners to get a solid introduction to this veteran indie act.
    Review by John Burke

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