“Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not ”
Dinosaur Jr. is alive and well in today’s alternative music scene. This new release “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not” is a powerful, full-throttle tour-de-force. They stay true to their alt-rock roots and have produced another album with a stripped down sound, letting the powerful lyrics and J Mascis’ characteristic gritty voice drive the music.
Their sound is very raw. Eschewing the high-polish tricks of the pop-production world, they instead choose to stick with their well-known, well-worn garage band style. The drums are explosive, with long-time drummer Murph pounding away song after song. Distorted guitar riffs and thumping bass lines add lots of energy to the mix.
The album opens up strong and doesn’t let up much throughout. The opening track “Goin Down” is an upbeat distorted rocker that indicates what direction this album is going. The second track “Tiny” would almost have a 50’s rock feel to it if the guitar wasn’t so distorted. It’s a catchy tune, like most of the tracks on “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not”.
The album is a follow-up to the self-titled solo acoustic release by songwriter / singer / guitarist J Mascis, which received significant critical acclaim. That one is still in regular rotation on my playlist. That feel continues on the song “Be a Part”, which has a gentler sound and Mascis’ voice really shines. He’s been compared to Neil Young a lot, but Mascis’ voice is in a lower range. I think the comparison is more apropos to the gritty quality of his sound. There’s a magical quality about it that really penetrates through your brain and hits the heart with darts of emotion.
One of my favorite tracks is “I Walk for Miles”. It’s a straightforward thumper with a really catchy hook in the vocal line. It has the sound of an old garage band, but one the blows you away with its raw power and haunting lyrics. The vocals really carry the album. The hooks are great and his voice is so distinct and beautiful in its unpolished way.
Another track I really like is “Mirror”. The lyrics are very emotional, and you can hear the pain in his voice as he explains, “I’ve been crawling around since I met you”. When the chorus kicks in, you can feel the heartbreak as he sings “waste of time” again and again.
I love to hear bands that can achieve greatness without lots of fancy production and artificial shine. These 3 boys of Dinosaur Jr. have stuck with the same raw alternative sound they developed in the early 90’s and haven’t changed a bit. I love it.
Two Ton Music