Album Review: Dinosaur Jr - Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not

The latest offering from Dinosaur Jr is actually the forth album released since the boys buried the hatchet after 18 years of acrimony.

Bassist Lou Barlow was 'let go" back in 1989 by frontman/guitar-wizard j Mascis and while the band had their biggest hit (with 1994's "Feel The Pain) the chemistry of the original trio simply wasn't there.

When the original line up of j, Lou and drummer Murph finally reconvened in 2007, this was like manna for indie-rock fans.

The band's fingerprints were all over modern rock and their influence was worn proudly by leagues of younger bands. Even Nirvana used the Dinosaur Jr format (pop melodies smothered in loud guitars) to greater dividends.

This reunion is already ten years in, with the band releasing the searing, gorgeous Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not.

Nothing has really changed in the bands sound since their 1987 break-through You're Living All Over Me. The songs have been boiled down to a sharper, catchier proximation of the dense, hyper-literate college rock of yore.

Mascis' guitar is still the star here, with brow-singeing solos gracing nearly every single track. The band even recently released a mega-mix containing every single guitar solo from the album on one track.

The man conjures beautiful sludge from his axe, sometimes even threatening to overwhelm the bass and drums.

At the moment the song becomes nearly saturated Mascis will pull back and return to his somber-but-catchy vocal melody.

His vocals were always a weary mix of Neil Young and comic book store clerk and they really haven't aged at all in past three decades.

Barlow's presence is also priceless. His tough but playful, strummed Rickenbacker bass lines are the perfect counterpart to Mascis' wild guitar webs.

The two songs he wrote and sang here do not kill any momentum, instead they bring the dark melodic crush of his side project Sebadoh.

In the live setting, Barlow is equally as important; bopping around the stage while Mascis stands a static guitar swami.

In the end, this album will probably not win over new fans. It will, however, remind listeners of how cathartic that first era of Dinosaur Jr (1985-1989) was, where the band literally smashed the rules of what a rock trio could sound like.

Stand out "I Walk For Miles" shows their fondness for Black Sabbath crunch while first single "Tiny" shows their knack for a sunny pop hook.

It is the merging of those two disparate worlds that make Dinosaur Jr truly one of America's most important rock bands. Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not by Dinosaur Jr gets four Empty Lighthouses out of 5.

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