Monday, July 6, 2009

Farm: A Sufficiently Peculiar Review #3

Farm, Dinosaur jr.
Jagjaguwar, 2009

By Miles Kowitt

Dinosaur jr. are back and in top form! The Massachusetts trio of J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and drummer Murph have managed a rare feat in the often fickle world of Rock and Roll; they have completed a successful reunion tour, made a worthy comeback album with 2007’s Beyond, and have continued on as a reformed band making a follow-up album that can stand proudly next to such classics as You’re Living All Over Me and Bug. Farm is a glistening, mossy slab of fuzz-box-drenched guitar tsunamis adorning 12 gloriously noisy, but melodic numbers in the classic Dino vein. All of the trademarks one would expect from a Dinosaur jr. album are here: the quirky cartoon cover art with its slime-green sasquatches, the rumbling bass-lines, the distorted “Cortez the Killer” meets Mary Chain guitar squalls, the self-effacing slacker lyrics, that lethargic, nasal wine of Mascis, the catchy-as-hell choruses, and those heart-breaking melodies floating just beneath the murk. Destined for Indie-classic status, tracks like “Pieces”, “I Want You to Know”, and “It’s Over” offer a more pop-friendly approach that somehow loses none of the heft that Mascis and company have always packed into a song. Barlow, who sat out Dino in the 90’s to focus on Sebadoh and other Indie-rock projects, offers up 2 originals, as he did on earlier albums, showing a darker, almost-gothic side of the band. Mascis’s trademark amp-up-to-11 guitar solos still have the intensity to melt brain-cells, but it’s his keen sense of melody and uncanny ability to write a great hook that proves him to be a master of his craft. Farm easily joins the ranks of great summertime driving albums; so roll down the windows, crank up the stereo, and hit the highway, Dinosaur jr. are along for the ride.

Farm is available via Jagjaguwar Records

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