Dinosaur Jr.
Green Mind


3.5
great

Review

by IAJP USER (42 Reviews)
August 14th, 2010 | 120 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: J. Mascis releases his first "solo album". And annoyingly, it's actually pretty good.

Dinosaur Jr. are a difficult band to pigeonhole. A lot of the time their releases border on grunge, metal, alternative rock, and yet the distinct impression is given of the band that they're either too lazy or too short on cash to implement proper production on their releases. This is confusing, as metal traditionally is a loud and bombastic genre, and to call something that often comes across as more like R.E.M. than Megadeth truly 'metal' is a crime in itself, let alone seeming really odd.

So Dinosaur Jr. are an alternative rock band. But by no means are they your self conscious, hairdo obsessed, wine drinking alt rockers. They come with the metal attitude, beer swilling, headbanging and sleeping in till 3pm, and their music and lyrics reflects this lifestyle.

Green Mind is the band's 4th album, and by this point the cracks had not only began to show in the infrastructure, they'd began to splinter and destroy the band right through the middle. Lead singer and songwriter J. Mascis was known for being an intolerable prick, perfectionist, control freak. His general lack of any communicative skills with his band members had eroded the band's image and friendship and put it onto boiling point since their first record, and by their 4th release, Mascis had pushed his band to the absolute limit, bassist Lou Barlow walking out after Bug, going on to form Sebadoh (obviously having had enough of Mascis dictatorship that was his band). Drummer Murph was still there, but only just, drumming on just three tracks on Green Mind, and presumably getting wasted and starting fights with J. on the other ten songs.

And indeed, it does actually seem completely pointless to label this release as a Dinosaur Jr. one. It is, in sound, style, production and lyrics, but the use of 'Dinosaur Jr.' was one that applied to Murph, and Barlow, and they were extremely notable and noticeable in their absence.

The tracks on here are great though, which is a hugely bizarre contrast, in many ways you would like to see J. fail without the support of his band, but it becomes absolutely plain to see he was, and still is the driving force in Dinosaur Jr., just by looking at the quality on show on Green Mind. Opener, The Wagon was released as a single on Sub-Pop, and did remarkably well, while Blowing It trundles and jumps along it's own path, just the great Dinosaur Jr. tracks do, with J. doing his best most sincere impression of Neil Young throughout.

Flying Cloud is another great one, acoustic and rambling but with brash and harsh metal interjections of a bass drum, while Water follows the same route. The title track is the best thing off the album though, a roving alternative rock classic which shows up Mascis as everything he is, a great songwriter, a loner, and an inventive guitarist, cemented by the feedback driven snake of a guitar solo.

It's not that J. is an intolerable and whiny bastard, that's the problem, he isn't. He comes across as an introspective, fun, and wild party animal. And it is in this contrast that Dinosaur Jr. unleash some of their greatest works; the juxtaposition between what they actually are, and what they sound like they are. The band keeps a brave face, and were it not for intrusive interviews and public assumption, the band probably would have kept on releasing great albums as a band, all written by it's enigmatic songwriter, until one of them finally snapped and killed J. in a heated rage. And I wouldn't blame them.



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user ratings (316)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
August 14th 2010


6002 Comments


i've always loved that album cover. great review dude, this is one of the few dinosaur jr i haven't heard yet.

Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

IAJP
August 14th 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i love the album cover, i think it was from a huge book of photographs about kids acting like adults called almost grown. not 100% sure who the photographer is but it sounds extremely interesting though. thanks for the pos anyway man, you owe it to yourself to check this album out, it's bizarrely great, despite clear interpersonal differences!

Willie
Moderator
August 14th 2010


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review. This is my favorite Dinosaur Jr. album. All of the best songs are in the first half of the album though.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

IAJP
August 14th 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

very true, though the title track is still one of my favourite ever from dino. good album generally.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2010


6280 Comments


very well written, Pos'd.

I don't know this band but your review "tells" me that i should search for them.

Digging: Fly Golden Eagle - Quartz Bijou

IAJP
August 14th 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah man utterly check dino jr. out. i wouldnt start with this, i'd probably start with bug or beyond. controversial recommendations perhaps but bug is the last one with the trio lineup of the band (murph, mascis, barlow), and as such it's just a real storm, great songs and totally pretty timeless really.

as for beyond, that was released in 2007 with all members reuinited. i saw them earlier this year and they were amazing, they seem to just be getting better with each new album they release. as for the inner tensions, i could see that hitting boiling point AGAIN, mascis really is that insuferable. anyhow, glad you liked the review, hope you like the music even more.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2010


6280 Comments


anyhow, glad you liked the review, hope you like the music even more

some of your expressions are spot-on. For example, this:

and by this point the cracks had not only began to show in the infrastructure, they'd began to splinter and destroy the band right through the middle.

Good inspiration for my future reviews.



IAJP
August 14th 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

haha too kind man, thanks a lot. my head is swelling..lawl

DoubtGin
August 14th 2010


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

loving that cover

Romulus
August 14th 2010


8447 Comments


so I have You're Living All Over Me and Farm (weird combo) and they're both pretty sweet. where should I go from there?

MUNGOLOID
August 14th 2010


4350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

underrated band on this site.

pizzamachine
August 15th 2010


12571 Comments


Great review, you have convinced me to check out this band.

IAJP
August 15th 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

romulus: depends what you're looking for. this is more of a cohesive record in some ways because mascis has it ALL his way, but because of that the authenticity and the actual fact it's not dinosaur jr. suffers.

if i were you i'd get bug, explosive record just before the band imploded on itself. bug or where you been, that has great production and is extremely loud and driving.

you're living all over me is a really great record though.

igloodude
September 22nd 2010


398 Comments


I feel like the beginning of "Water" might be the best thing they've ever done.

random
January 4th 2011


2270 Comments


There's a wagon, get on in!

random
February 14th 2011


2270 Comments


There's a place I know, but you're not there, so how am I supposed to know?

KILL
December 23rd 2011


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

jefflebowski
December 23rd 2011


8257 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid J. Mascis solo album

Urinetrouble
December 23rd 2011


5764 Comments


COME ON DOWWWWNN

Ire
December 24th 2011


41820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fun album



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