Review : Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet on Sky
GuardianIf you've heard even a fraction of the music Dinosaur Jr have released since the mid-1980s (and if you haven't, treat yourself to Freak Scene and The Wagon), broadly speaking you already know what their 10th album sounds like. J Mascis doesn't so much sing as lie in the gutter and murmur through a pile of dead leaves and gravel. But set against the sleepy crackle of his voice is the coruscating energy of his guitar, which strains at the leash of every song until it surges into a solo of needling, insistent power. I Bet on Sky offers no variations on the grand theme, but pleasures in the detail: a blood-drenched riff in What Was That; a fragile cadence to Stick a Toe In. Wistfulness aches at its heart, as Mascis knowingly soundtracks the mood of nostalgia that sends people rummaging secretly through Facebook to gaze at pictures of their teenage sweethearts and dream about the children they'll never share....full text
AllmusicNow that Dinosaur Jr. is an actual working band and not a one-off reunion, they can settle into the business of being a band: touring regularly and cutting records where they subtly push at the boundaries of what defines the band's sound, as they do on 2012's I Bet On Sky. By some measures, the quietest record of their new millennium reunion, I Bet On Sky rarely roars with abandon -- oddly, it's Lou Barlow who brings the noise with the appropriately named "Rude" and "Recognition," but J Mascis does kick in the glorious breakneck rocker "Pierce the Morning Rain" -- with the band indulging in different textures and tempos, opening up their music in a way the concentrated Farm didn't quite manage. This shift is evident from the start, when "Don't Pretend You Didn't Know" glides by on the back of an eerie analog synth line before surging into a chorus graced with piano, signaling that this is the Dinosaur Jr. with the most sonic color since Green Mind. Pianos pop back up on "Stick a Toe In," the band almost works out a heated groove on "I Know It Oh So Well" then lies back on "Almost Fare," finding space for the exploded pop of "What Was That," crunching power chords of "Watch the Corners," and closing off the proceedings with the mini-epic "Set It On Your Side." As always with Dinosaur Jr., underneath all that sound lie some sturdy bones, songs constructed with expert, unassuming craftsmanship and a sly wit, but it's the variety and adventure that makes I Bet On Sky something more than another excellent Dinosaur record....full text
NothingbuthopeandpassionNot long ago we posted a feature about the great new track by independent band DINOSAUR JR.. The song Watch The Corners was only the appetizing foretaste of the new album entitled I Bet On Sky, which will be released August 31st. Coming along with lots of noise rock, punk, and metal elements, the band around legendary J Mascis created just another masterpiece album that can be recognized as such from the first notes on. I just can’t stop listening to these heavy tracks, ‘cuz they’re keeping me thrilled on and on!
I Bet on Sky is the third DINOSAUR JR. album since the original trio — J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph — reformed in 2005, and it’s the bands from now on 10th studio album since their debut was released back in 1985. Maybe it’s with them like with red wine – the older, the better – but seriously: these guys make music at such a high level that they could easily be named alongside bands like the FOO FIGHTERS or PIXIES, even though they never made it that big as the aforementioned, their cult status in the independent music circle is enormous – rightly so!
The trio has taken all the skills that they’ve acquired over the past years, and applied it directly onto their current output. The result is an album so engaging that it’s hard to not get submerged in the depths of heavy guitar riffs and J’s sugary gloominess of his vocals. His voice is just brilliant – desperate, smoky, almost tragic. Bittersweet riff-romance and melancholy that is so typical of the passionate GUNS ‘N’ ROSES rock tunes of the 80s, but even cooler and harder similar to the QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE blasts from the late 90s. Murph’s drums are as hard and as strong as those of a Taylor Hawkins, and together with his bandmates’ melodic explosions and overwhelming solos, the trio managed to rise in my personal Olympus of rock legends....full text
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