One of the latest end of the 80’s bands to reform is Dinosaur Jr. The original Dino line-up reformed for a tour in 2005 which has already spawned a live DVD. The reunion LP, ‘Beyond’ is slated for an early May release and 2 tracks from the LP can be previewed on their Myspace.
The two new tracks featuring original members Murph and Lou Barlow are pretty good and you can get download one of them, ‘Almost Ready’, from Pitchfork here.
At their best Dinosaur were a thrilling proposition and ‘Freak Scene’ has to be one of my all-time favourite singles (it’s also on their Myspace). But it has to be said there was little progression from album to album such that I don’t think I bought the last record released under the Dinosaur Jr banner, even if by then the band was essentially a solo project for J Mascis.
To reinforce that argument, I do have one LP by J Mascis and the Fog and, well, it sounds like a Dinosaur album to me. IMHO Dinosaur were very much J’s band and his guitar playing and singing are their principal distinctive features.
I wasn’t tempted by the reunion tour principally because as a live act first time around they were extremely variable. I remember seeing them touring ‘Bug’ on consecutive nights and in Glasgow (small club in the same building as the Barrowlands, if I remember correctly) the sound was awful.
The following night at the Venue in Edinburgh it really seemed as if they didn’t give a f***. To silence the demands for ‘Freak Scene’ they chucked it away early on and ended up with one of their girlfriends singing a Guns’n’Roses cover.
I don’t remember much of the other 2 times I saw them – playing the Mary Chain’s ‘Rollercaoster’ package tour at the SECC a set which was seriously curtailed by technical problems and whilst I can remember getting to a Barrowlands show and having a sore back afterwards, the gig itself hasn’t left much of an impression.
Their best 2 albums are probably ‘You’re Living All Over Me’ and ‘Green Mind’ although there’s plenty of good stuff on both ‘Bug’ (including ‘Freak Scene’) and ‘Where You Been’. With 7 years without a J LP, I may well be tempted by ‘Beyond’ particularly if it lives up to ‘Almost Ready’.
Here though is a non-LP single (remember these?) from 1991. It’s really rather good.
Dinosaur Jr – Whatever’s Cool With Me