Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Reviews:: Dinosaur Jr. Beyond

Update:: Musebox is giving fans a chance to snatch tickets to the Vancouver show. Just click here and select BC.

Originally, after an ugly slugfest with the Web Sheriff I decided I wasn’t going to re-post on Dinosaur Jr. triumphant return to rock n’ roll. I was bitter about the double hand slap, even though the PR machines and label deemed it ok to post the MP3, and actually made us delete the post, not just the MP3. I turned a simple misunderstanding into a stupid platform about how blogs are changing.

Looking back, it’s probably a good thing the post was deleted. I had crafted some jibberish about feeling like I missed the boat by only discovering the band after Lou had left, and staying up to watch The Edge on MuchMusic to see that Feel the Pain video. I talked about how great it was to hear J. jumping around his fret board with self-indulgent solos and the droning sludge that made me love the band so much. I talked about how easily this record fit into the collection. I talked about how, like me, the band seemed to embrace what they liked about music and never stray from that style.

I think my initial reaction to the CD was a bit short sighted. Within twenty seconds of the booming guitar on Almost Ready, I knew I would love the CD and that hasn’t changed (in fact, I like it more with every listen), but I think I missed an obvious jump off point. I’d like to think I’ve matured and changed a lot in my years, but the comfort food of J Mascis shredding a solo over top of Lou’s bass and Murph’s thumping drums obviously shows different. Unlike people who constantly want a band to evolve, I usually reach deeper into the back catalog with each new release. Instead of trying to force people to grow up, Dinosaur Jr. makes you wonder if you will ever grow out of the stage of loving big guitars. You can hear this record and realize why you go to a show and see a 45-year old father rocking out with little concern of what you think of him.

The most impressive thing about this CD is that never once to you want to pull out Bug and listen to the songs you fell in love with. The band doesn’t try to reproduce what made them great, probably because they still love to write the same type of songs. Instead of mellowing with age, they are unapologetic about the rebellion of youth that made their band what is was. Brash solos and booming sounds: Lyrics that aren’t trying to change the world. I don’t think J, Lou or Murph have any concern about what anyone thinks. Almost nothing has changed.

Sure they are back together, but you still hear stories about J and Lou not talking. That petulance remains, and I love it. These guys existed when rock stars had attitude and soap opera drama, and it is comforting to know that 20 years later, it’s still bubbling just under the surface. With all the ill fated rock reunions and so many great riffs getting swept under the rug, I’m stoked that a band can still exist despite two of the major players may or may not like each other. I mean, did J have control on the mix and decide to turn Lou's bass down at certain points? You never know!

It’s comforting to know that J still feels the desire to break off a sixty second solo to close out Pick Me Up. It’s comforting to see J looking old and haggard. It’s comforting for me to hear a record and just let it play, unconcerned about anything other than the sounds. It’s comforting for me to not want to analyze Beyond. It’s comforting to reach down and turn up my stereo for a guitar rock album that, quite honestly, is one of my favorites of in amazing year in music.

MP3:: You Say We're Not Alone
MP3:: Been There All the Time
Video:: Been There All the Time

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Posted at 12:48 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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