Words by Russell Carstens
Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not is Dinosaur Jr.’s eleventh studio album—the fourth released by the classic lineup of vocalist/guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph since their 2005 reunion. Seinfeld fans: Remember the episode where George eats a piece of mango and exclaims, “I feel like I got a B-12 shot!”? That’s how “Goin’ Down,” kickstarts the album: into high gear. It’ll make you feel as if new life was injected into your bloodstream without warning.
The sludgy, near-Black Sabbath guitar assault of “I Walk For Miles” is Mascis’ metal exorcism—he’s a longtime fan of the genre, and a member of the stoner metal band Witch. He also made a brief appearance with the Boston band Upsidedown Cross all the way back in 1991. Mascis somehow manages to sneak a snapshot of Beach Boys vocal melodies into the song without it sounding out of place. The melancholy fog of “Be a Part,” is especially enhanced by his vocal drawl, while the absent love of “Lost All Day” is set on the foundation of a very classic-sounding Mascis riff that could’ve appeared on You’re Living All Over Me. One can appreciate the catch-your-breath sentiment of the first half of “Knocked Around,” but the album carries so much momentum that it’s jarring, bringing things to an (although brief) unwelcome halt.
Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not expectantly gifts listeners with two songs penned by Barlow, giving center stage to his classic sincerity and sense of forlorn melody. In particular, “Left/Right,” demonstrates that after nearly thirty years of baring his soul, Barlow’s well hasn’t run dry. He’s always used songwriting as a stage for whatever personal battle he happens to be fighting, and the song’s subtle sense of triumph closes the album with a sense of relief and well-being.
Dinosaur’s unmistakable sound is a musical comfort food—the near-perfect mix of melody and aggression. Play this one at ear-splitting levels for prime pleasure.
‘Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not’
© August 5th, 2016
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