There’s one band I can singularly blame for mid-life hearing loss and one gig in particular. Dinosaur Jr, Tivoli, circa 2007. Three years later at The Zoo and I still hadn’t learned my lesson, but it mattered less then. I was already half-deaf.
There’s no other band that plays fuzzy rock guitar riffs as justifiably loud or as capably as Dinosaur Jr.
Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not is Dinosaur Jr’s first album since 2012 and their fourth since their unlikely reformation in 2005. And I think the team at Double J summed it up perfectly when they said “if you ever begin to think your best days are behind you, buy one of Dinosaur Jr’s last three records.”
They hadn’t even heard this new one yet.
Listening to some of the early tracks off Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not is a look back into Dinosaur Jr’s entire catalogue, Mascis’ wailing guitar and unique vocals are unmistakably front and centre.
It’s a far cry from his recent solo efforts which saw him turn down the volume and the pace, which resulted in invitations to play at folk festivals. Folk festivals!
It’s been 26 years since J Mascis founded Dinosaur Jr and he’s been held up as the elder statesman of that grunge era for some time. I mean, let’s face it, the man is a guitar hero. Kurt Cobain even asked him to join Nirvana. Twice!
He’s ranked number 86 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and fifth in Spin’s top 100 list. Mascis was also one of the guitarists who voted and ranked the Rolling Stones list.
With his fellow original band mates, Lou Barlow and Murph, he’ll be bringing the classics to Australia in January 2017. Songs from a catalogue that now numbers eleven albums. And not a single dud amongst them.
A word to the wise though. Don’t forget the earplugs.
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Dinosaur Jr will play Miami Shark Bar on Saturday 14 January. There are also shows at The Triffid (Friday 13 January), The Northern (Saturday 15 January) and the Croxton in Mebourne on 21 January. Tickets for the Miami show at miamitavern.com.au.
WATCH: Goin’ Down for a taste of the new album