Monday, June 22, 2009
Pitchfork.com have reviewed the new Dinosaur Jr. album "Farm". They have it an 8.5 out of 10 and the "best new music" award...
"Beyond, the first album to feature the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup since their 1980s heyday, was so surprisingly good it was tempting to call it a fluke. Tempting, but wrong-- two years after its release, it still sounds great, on par with the early, hallowed triumvirate of Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me, and Bug. For any cynics still chalking Beyond up to luck, Farm should blast the scales from your jaded eyes. Energetic, confident, and catchy, it's even more compelling than Beyond.
It certainly boasts more stick-in-your-head tunes than Beyond, or virtually any other Dinosaur Jr. album. Who knows why J Mascis writes better songs when Lou Barlow and Murph are around-- maybe there's something to the old cliché of "chemistry," maybe the pair just know how to push his tunes from solid up to stellar. But whatever creates this spark, it's spurred Mascis to pack Farm with riff-heavy slacker classics that rival past gems like "Little Fury Things" and "Freak Scene". Opener "Pieces" is a vintage display of Dinosaur Jr.'s knack for grafting unruly riffage to unabashedly bittersweet choruses. The lumbering "I Want You to Know" follows with chunky chords that sound both heavy and bright. As David Raposa pointed out in his recent track review, the tune is impressively assured, as if Mascis has shed the need to add an apologetic tone to his guitar anthems.
But even when Mascis is lyrically mopey, the music pulls this sad sack up off the couch. Take the caffeinated chug of slacker-self-help guide "Over It". "Can I make it here?/ Get over it," Mascis tells himself. "I've been feeling weird/ Get over it... I've been on the fence/ Now it's making sense I see." Even better is the pity-filled "Plans". The man who Thurston Moore imagined as Slacker President in Sonic Youth's "Teen Age Riot" moans about pain, loss, and apathy-- "I've got nothing left to be/ Do you have some plans for me?" But the music's adrenalized bounce makes his misery more sweet than sad. In Farm's world, a good melody cures all ills.
As catchy and well-crafted as these songs are, they never feel restricted or overly polished. Each track is given room to grow, stretching into extended intros, impulsive solos, and oft-repeated verses. The result is both shapely and sprawling, like the mossy cartoon characters on the album cover. The aching "Said the People" seems to climax with Mascis' crying solo in the middle, but then spreads out into another great three minutes. "I Don't Wanna Go There" sprawls into fuzzy detonations, like a mellowed version of Bug's noise-bomb "Don't". And Barlow approaches his two excellent songs with similar openness, hitting especially hard on the dark "Your Weather".
With Farm coming out around the same time as the first installment in Neil Young's Archives project, it's tempting to make a grand statement about Mascis and Dinosaur Jr. as heirs to the Young and Crazy Horse throne. Young's genius is pretty inimitable, but there is something about this band-- the way they mix noisy guitar and punk-ish slam with sugared melodies and faded choruses-- that's Young-worthy. And as long as J, Lou, and Murph keep shooting as high as Farm, they'll end up with the kind of discography worth buying over and over again." - Marc Masters, June 22, 2009
Posted by Dan Goldin at 12:16 PM