This album is seen in retrospect as an underrated classic, both in terms of the history of music, and in addition to the context that is given here. The album was also seen as a stone cold classic for underground proto-Grunge movements in the U.S.A. Headed by guitarist J. Mascis, these guys were on a mission musically. Let’s take a listen and see if the mission was at all successful.
We kick off with Little Fury Things which begins with a drum roll and a very noisy guitar sound, and a decent set of Pop/Rock melodicism about it. It’s surprisingly very, very good and has some really excellent singing here too. This is an excellent piece of music to hear and does sound a little like proto-Nirvana here. It is actually a pretty cool song from start to finish, and sounds just a little bit different. Nice effort by Dinosaur Jr. and there are some really loud and swirling Rock sounds here, especially towards the end. Great stuff.
Next is Kracked which starts with an awesome riff, before going into an uptempo and Noise Pop/Rock sort of piece. It does sound really cool. This is the best sort of Garage Rock that you can get, it is joyful and uplifting, whilst being very loud. The wah-wah guitar solo here is insane, it just sounds really cool and different. It goes into a quieter section afterwards with distorted bass guitar and calm singing. This is a really cool song to listen to, and sounds enormous sonically and wonderful musically. Very enjoyable. It goes straight into the next song.
Sludgefeast begins with a load of feedback laden guitar, before going into a very Black Sabbath style riff section that is fantastic. The guitar playing here is really quite amazing to listen to, and it sounds that J. Mascis was in an original way an excellent guitarist. The singing here is very much like a bored post-Punk sort of styling. The guitar solos here alternate between quiet and absolutely noisy. The riff in the middle of the song is really fantastic, too, sounding really amazing and catchy. This is a really cool song to hear. Towards the end, the guitars have a really loud section by themselves, before the rest of the band join in with a guitar solo and uptempo pace to match. Very nice, a must listen. A great proto-Grunge album so far.
The Lung begins with a dirty riff section, and quickly goes into a very catchy and upbeat sort of song that is really quite cool. It then bursts into a super fast instrumental piece that sounds really cool. This is exactly what basic Rock music should be drawn upon, garage band style jams that is. Almost halfway through, we hear some brief singing, before this song resumes its glory as a loud, noisy Rock number. A really cool listen, the sense of sonic creativity and varying musicality makes this an interesting listen. Nice effort by Dinosaur Jr.
Next up is Raisans which is a burst of post-Punk energy and musicianship. Singing quickly emerges, and this is yet another really excellent song to listen to. There are some manic guitar parts, a fast tempo and calm singing over the top of it all. Indeed, these songs are all really great songs here. There is a really odd weird midsection break, before the fury is unleased once again. Towards the end is an amazing guitar solo that will blow your mind, seriously, it’s that good. The playing of the solo and use of harmonics here are excellent. A really good song to listen to, even today. It ends abruptly.
Following is Tarpit which begins with some clean-ish guitar riffs. Even the clean guitar parts sound rather dirty here, a nice touch. The song emerges soon enough, and this sounds like another intelligent jam for those who like loud and noisy music. A really excellent piece of music, this is incredible listening, even today. The songs here do demand repeat listens, and sound really great. This is an enjoyable and wonderful listen, although it is seemingly musically limited. Towards the end, a load of noise and delay make this a very weird outro to listen to. Overall, it is excellent all the same. It sounds monstrous, stopping for a few seconds before proceeding into the next song.
In A Jar begins with a drumroll, before going into a more traditional Pop/Rock piece. It sounds really cool and clever, and is light years away from the RnB Pop of today. It may sound dumbed down, but is actually a very intelligent listening experience. An awesome and melodic piece of music, this is fine listening. The midsection is rather restrained here, before launching into another verse. The guitar solo here is really fantastic and sounds cool and amazing. It gets rather weird towards the end, but still sounds uber cool. Nice tune.
Lose begins with noisy guitars that sound really amazing and twisted, a bit Slayer like. The song goes on, and is another really cool and short piece of music to enjoy. This is a great example of Noise Pop, but is also in a league of its own. A fantastic and ear grabbing listen, this is how alternative music got loud and noisy. Most of the songs here are around three minutes long, as is this one. Short, yet direct and fantastic listening.
Up next is Poledo which is a much longer piece, beginning with a weird interlude style section, before differently tuned acoustic guitar and deep vocals enter. This is a decent and different listen, it is way more different than anything else on this album, and is welcome here. A weird, but catchy piece of original music. It goes into some static and screaming, before another rather weird musical interlude styled section occurs, with some John Lennon styled Revolution 9 tape sound effects. This is incredibly odd listening, and is very much akin to Psychedelic music of the 1960s. There are some weird cut up parts of singing here too, about Jesus and other strange things. It’s very clever and different, and is a good effort, even if it is a random musical pastiche. Towards the end, some ethereal strings with dark melodies emerge. Really freaky sounding, but great all the same. A nice effort by Dinosaur Jr. It ends abruptly.
Last here is Just Like Heaven which sounds kind of Joy Division/New Order-ish. It is a normal song (for this album) once again, and sounds like another decent piece of music. The singing here confirms this is so for another Dinosaur Jr. song, and it is another golden moment for them, along with the rest of the album. Really good and awesome to hear, it goes into a pseudo-Metal inspired part in the second half, followed by a noisy guitar solo. Very good effort here, and nice to finish off a really great album here.
This is a really amazing post-Hardcore Punk/Proto Grunge listening experience. It is a great mixture of noisy, feedback heavy guitars, great songwriting and awesome musicianship. If you love musical history and like loud and noisy tunes to scare the neighbours away, you are in luck. Check this one out if you can.
Weird, wonderful and noisy.
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