I never dreamed all those years ago, laughing my head off at the unhinged majesty of 'Freak Scene', that one day I'd be sat here describing Dinosaur Jr as 'venerable'. But venerable they surely are - a career (albeit an intermittent one) spanning twenty years doesn't come cheap, and many of their contemporaries are long forgotten, preserved only in the record collections of the diehard few. Band of Susans anyone? Precisely.And J. Mascis obviously believes that if a thing ain't broke, you don't fix it. He's never had the greatest voice, but his distinctive drawl is still intact, as are his slacker-in-a-garage pop sensibilities and his characteristic guitar touches. OK, 'Crumble' doesn't have the all-out assault of 'Freak Scene', but you could argue it doesn't need it. It's got a cute chorus, a simple but effective guitar solo, and a sweet run-out and ending. He's operating in territory he feels at home with and is comfortable with, and it sounds pretty good to me. It's certainly a fine antidote to the current crop of English 'indie' guitar heroes.
B-side 'Yer Son' sounds like it was recorded in a shed, except for the vocals, which have a Sabbath-esque reverb all over them. It's a grubby, sub-grunge affair that's entirely in keeping with that Dinosaur Jr sound. There's a pop sensibility buried beneath the fuzzy guitars and boxy drums, and it's good to hear.
I'll look forward to the album with interest. Good to have you back, Mr Mascis.