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Dinosaur Jr. Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not Jagjaguwar

In 2005, when the original Dinosaur Jr. trio of Mascis, Barlow and Murph reformed, fans were stunned, delighted, and maybe a little apprehensive. Was it only for the money? Would Mascis and Barlow even be able to look at each other? Now, with Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, we’re album four into the reformation, and only the most cynical would argue it’s down to nostalgia and cash alone.

It opens with Goin Down, a sharp, superior blast of the poppier sound that’s been dominating since the rebirth. There’s a nice little solo in it, but it’s not until single Tiny that we hear Mascis really let loose. It’s incredibly difficult to make a solo sound ‘rock’ in a major key, but somehow he manages it. Love Is… and Left/Right, both sung by Barlow, tack towards Lou’s solo material with Sebadoh. They aim to be more cerebral and melodically complex, and mostly achieve it, but given the context, they feel like concessions, from Mascis’s ego to Barlow’s, rather than something the band all had coherent input on.

This album will please fans and won’t give any ammunition for people looking to trash their reputation. But it’s not as urgent and compelling as their earlier work. It feels like Dinosaur Jr. continue to have interesting, things to say, but none of it is particularly new.