Dinosaur Jr. Beyond

Dinosaur Jr. Beyond
After surviving a tour or two without killing each other, the original line-up of Dinosaur Jr. set about recording their first album in 19 years and the result is nothing short of awesome. If there were any concerns that the time off and respective members’ forays into poppier pastures would mean an inability to recapture the grungy glory of yesteryear, they are put to rest early on Beyond. J Mascis’s massive wall of distorted guitars and Lou Barlow and Murph’s merciless rhythmic thud are as thick and heavy as ever, with Mascis’s indifferent wailing in fine form as well. Things are so rosy (for the time being) in DJ land that Barlow is allowed to front his two contributions to the album’s 11 tracks. About the only thing that has changed since 1988’s Bug is that the trio seem to have become possessed by the spirit of Crazy Horse — not the aboriginal one, the Neil Young one. The tracks clock in at an average length of four-and-a-half minutes thanks largely to the extended guitar solos in each song. Beyond is the sound of a band inspired, re-energised and most importantly, still relevant more than two decades after creating a sound and scene that has since become lucrative for so many inferior, mediocre bands.

(Fat Possum, www.fatpossum.com) (Fat Possum)