In 1984, a band called Deep Wound disbanded, far too early, after two years of great gigs and recordings. The drummer, J Mascis decided to start playing guitar. Immediatly, he was getting some wonderful, yet at the same time, disgusting sounds out of his amp. J seemed to have found a new form of musical beauty. Immediatly, he contacted Lou Barlow, the former Deep Wound guitarist and persuaded him to change to bass. Lou called up an old friend, Murph, who became the band's drummer. J also decided to sing for the band.
Dinosaur was formed. Many people loved the sounds of Dinosaur, including Gerard Cosloy, Copresident of Matador Records and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who called them "One of the great noise debuts of the decade". At the early gigs, people thought they were horrible. In fact, at times they had the plug pulled on their shows. Often, they played louder than anyone had ever attemped before.
Later on, the band had to change their name, as their was already a band called "The Dinosaurs", who were absolutely shocked with the possibility that they might be confused with J, Lou and Murph's band. So they sued. After a while, the band decided to add Jr. to the end, to assure everyone that they were a generation apart from "The Dinosaurs".
This album is a compilation of some of the best stuff from all of their albums. It's a great buy, and seems to be relatively cheap nowadays (my copy cost $7 Australian, new). Remember that this album is a Best Of, so it's most likely that all of the songs on it will be good ones.
Repulsion- A nice catchy little number, with some good guitar sounds. J's voice in here is great, and it sounds very fitting, especially with the accent he uses to sing the song. 4/5
Little Fury Things- Starts out with some great sounds, that is basically "noise". J's playing is basically a big mess of chords, with some wah thrown in. This song was a big hit for Dinosaur Jr., if I'm not mistaken. A great noise track. 5/5
In a Jar- A really nice catchy song, with some great guitar and bass parts. J's voice is really good again, with his accent kicking in again. There are some great guitar licks in between sung lyrics. Some cool noisy sounds in the chorus. 4/5
Freak Scene- This song is a truly great one, in between the verse and chorus, J does this switch between a really noisy sound, and a nice tele style twangy sound. Very nice noise sounds. Also, some good guitar solos in here. 5/5
Budge- Another really noisy track. The song doesn't bother with an intro, instead, it just jumps into the verse straight from the first second. Some really great vocals in here, and again, it's another really great noise song. 5/5
Just Like Heaven- This song is a cover of the original, which was done by The Cure. It's a great track. When they released it, most people thought they were joking around, but it was most likely done, because everyone looked up to The Cure. This song is great, with an unexpected jump into a chorus. A real quality cover. 5/5
The Wagon- Possibly my favourite song on the album. The backing vocals on here are just brilliant. The guitar solo in here is also great and J's voice is awesome as usual. Some nice tom stuff on the drums as well. A catchy poppy song, that, for what it is, comes close to perfection (I don't say that lightly). 5/5
Thumb- This is a great song, a bit slower than most of the other stuff, not as noisy, and theres a (I believe) flute in here. J's voice works well in the song, as does his guitar part. Murph's drumming is also really good in here, his snare sounds great. 4.5/5
Whatever's Cool With Me- Some more good stuff here. This track just shows the greatness of J's songwriting. This song is totally infectious...how can you listen to it and not walk away siniging it for the rest of your life? Great stuff with a champion guitar solo. 5/5
Not You Again- A great mix of electric and acoustic guitar in this song, and the guitar solo is just great. In the drop down, J utilises some guitar feedback and some acoustic playing as well. A top song, more noise, yay!! 4.5/5
Out There- Starts out with a squealing guitar solo. Then a couple of voices come in for the lyrics, some really good vocals in here, and it has a nice feel. Also, for some of the song, J is just sololing over the vocals. Everything in here is great. Not really as happy as the other stuff though. That's not nessecarily a bad thing. 5/5
Start Choppin'- Incredibly catchy track, J does some really top noise vocals and some good high stuff. Infectious guitar work and basslines also. There is also some really good drumming. A great guitar solo towards the end, which sounds very raw. 4.5/5
Get Me- Again, starts out with no intro, just goes into the verse, with an acoustic. J's voice sounds really country like. The electric guitar comes in later and does some cool lead stuff. J's voice is the biggest highlight of this song. Good guitar solo too. Just great. 5/5
Feel The Pain- The track starts out with a wierd noise, and then some basic chords with a two note lead line on top of it. J's voice is good as usual, and the guitar stuff before the chorus is really great as well. This track is a bit slower and more reflective than some of the other noise stuff on the earlier tracks. Top stuff. 5/5
I Don't Think So- Another good song, but definatly not the best on the album. It's a really fun track, one of the more simple ones, and J's voice is good as usual. The drumming here is also great. The chords in here are cool and the chorus is reminiscent of some country stuff. Kinda reminds me of some of R.E.M.'s stuff. 4/5
Take A Run At The Sun- A slightly different track, due to the fact that it is a J Mascis solo song. Very enjoyable, J's vocals are a bit different to usual. The song's instruments are simple and fitting, and the bass line is great. 4.5/5
Nothings Going On- A different type of intro again, with J playing a single chord on guitar, and then changes later. The bass line in this song is really great, and the song is extremely catchy. The verse riff is also excellent. Some good cymbal work on the drums too. 5/5
I'm Insane- The last Dinosaur Jr. song on the album. There is some other melodic instrument in the song, and it's totally great. This song is also competing for spot as my favourite track on the album. The melodic instrument (a trumpet?) is just great, and the drumming is also cool. J's voice, again is really great. A really lovely song. 5/5
Where'd You Go- This song isn't actually a Dinosaur Jr. track. It's by J Mascis and The Fog. It's a really great choice to close the album. I really, really like this song. It has a sort of "sieze the moment" feel to it. It's just totally great, especially the vocals. Great guitar solo too. 5/5
You will notice that I didn't give any song on the cd a lower rating than a 4/5. That's right, it's really that good, and as I said, it's a Best Of album, so it's most probably going to be good. I do not give away ratings like that lightly, so please remember that. If you want to know more about this band, you can talk to me, but NachoChez is really the man to talk to, he knows a whole lot more about these guys than I do. Please consider this cd, I doubt that you'll regret it.
Final Rating: 5/5