Album review: Dinosaur Jr., “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not”

by Jon E. Lynch

Dinosaur Jr., “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not”

Available: Aug. 5 via Jagjaguwar Records as a downloadable digital album, compact disc and on black vinyl.

There has been an ever-growing trend the last 10 to 15 years in a certain subset of rock ’n’ roll music that has various names and identifiers, based on a slew of factors. It has at one time or another been referred to as underground (as opposed to mainstream) rock, indie rock, college rock, and recently alt- or alternative rock. Some, correctly in my opinion and in many cases, called it punk rock. This was before the commodification of the term punk rock, when punk rock music was more aligned with an ideal and an ethic, and less a fashion sense and costume choice. In 2016, one could arguably and age-depending, refer to it as classic rock. I slightly digress, but back to that trend. It’s a trend that has its detractors as well as supporters.

This trend is a “cashing-in” of sorts for the countless bands that existed mostly unknown to the masses for many years. Bands that toiled in pre-internet obscurity. They are re-forming with as many original members as possible, many are putting out albums again, and some are even touring (with balder spots, families in tow and with legions of new fans). I think it’s great. I’m all for comeuppance and finally getting acknowledged for your art. Dinosaur Jr. made three albums during their run in the ’80s with the original lineup of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph. In 2005, this lineup reformed playing shows off and on, but this is their first foray back into recording, and it is great. Classic sound from a classic band. J’s signature Fender Jazzmaster squall and baritone speak-singing is there, as is Lou Barlow’s thunderous bass, keeping beat for beat with Murph’s powerful clod of a drumming style and sensibility.

Recommended for fans of classic indie rock and college radio, and the gamut of canonized bands that fall under those widely cast nets: Pixies, Built to Spill, Sonic Youth, Pavement or Guided by Voices.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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