My first taste of Dinosaur Jr. came from skateboarding. Most of my taste in music evolved from what my favorite skateboarders (and my guitar teacher) were listening to. Before this most of all I listened to was 60s pop music and 90s pop music (give me a break I was in 3rd grade). I had heard a few of Dinosaur�s songs but I really felt cool when me and my brother found a used copy of your living all over me at my local thrift store for only 3 dollars. Now that I think about it, what can you get for 3 dollars, a fast food meal? New dress socks? I was defiantly lucky to pick up a great album like this.
The first song off YLAOM
is one of DJ�s most famous early songs. Little Fury Things
is a pshycadelic/punk/grunge masterpiece. Chock full of catchy vocals, Alice and wonderland references and insanely fuzzed up guitars. One unique thing about YLAOM that is established by the first song is the volume of the drums. Unlike, say the flaming lips (one of my favorite bands) the drums are very quiet and not as stand-out. Some might say this is a bad thing, but I think it�s really cool, especially the fact that Murph (DJ drummer) still keeps a beat above all the feed backing guitar.
starts of with an amazingly catchy riff and continues with Poppy vocals and full kit drum fills. The song soon drops off into a 16th note ride beat under a few fairly basic guitars. While Little Furry Things shows off J. Mascis�s amazing guitar style, this solo is where his talent really hits you. Full of unorthodox effects and insane bends, the solo drops out into a distorted bass line after around 45 seconds. If you haven�t realized what kind of ride your in for with the rest of the album you clearly have not been listening to this album hard enough. Kracked ends with some another chorus. The lyrics in this song aren�t anything special, but its still great.
The next song, Sludgefeast
, starts out with some Led Zeppelin heaviness and then another J. solo before some melancholy vocals come in. Enough can�t be said about the guitars on this album. Listen to this song and they basically speak for them selves. Parts of this song seem a little cheesy but Murph and Lou Barlow�s beat holds it together. The last minute of the song comes in a little randomly and houses yet another solo giving Sludgefeast a total of 3 solos.
The second 3rd of this album starts out with the curiously titled rocker The Lung
. One thing that bugs me about this song is how it randomly speeds up going from the first verse to the chorus. After a minute and a half the vocals come in before shortly being interrupted by a guitar solo. This particular solo is a standout for me, the tone is warm and distorted with gallons of beautiful sustain. The solo is long but manages to stay consistent and not be too cheesy.
is the next track and one of the catchiest IMO. The first few lines, paired with the guitar riff seem far too strange to be considered �catchy� but by the time you reach the chorus you will know what I�m talking about. After the chorus the bridge takes a strange turn, with what sounds like a man singing underwater. This lasts about 30 seconds before another short chorus and a RIPPING guitar solo. The song ends abruptly after another chorus and goes straight into
. If you ever wondered what the genre Slowcore is take a listen to this song. Too slow to be a hardcore song and too heavy to be considered a �ballad�. This one is probably my least favorite track on this CD, I�ve been raving about J.�s guitar playing but on this song it just seems a little tired. By the end of the song everything is drowning in a blizzard of effects wizardry that has been building up since the last chorus, This seems like an appropriate way to end the 2nd part of YLAOM.
A lot of today�s emo/indie albums have a stalker anthem. You know the track about how the singer wishes he could spy on a girl or where he sneaks into her house, something vaguely creepy like that. In a Jar
is DJs stalker jam. It�s a pretty basic song, one for once the bass is the real stand out instrument on this track. The guitar has a few nifty riffs but the first half of this track is Lou�s chance to shine. Then comes the solo, a short fast, distorted screamer which is interrupted by screaming, which of course, sounds like its coming from a person in a jar.
The next song is called Lose
, which starts off the bat which an insane 30 second solo. The fast-paced song continues with vocals from, correct me if I�m wrong, Lou, the bands bassist who will later go on to sing solo and in bands like Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion. I actually prefer Lou�s lo-fi vocals to J.�s. This song is chock full of guitar solo�s with a total of 3, not including the main riff, which is incidentally 1 long solo. Word to the wise do not listen to this one in the dark. One part of this song scares me every time I listen to it. Listen to the song I think you�ll understand what I mean.
, the 2nd to last song on the CD is a huge difference from the rest of the album�s guitar based hard-core indie rock. The distortion is out and chorused acoustic guitar and Lou�s voice is in. The song was supposed to be a sonic personal ad, which eventually paid out landing Lou his first real girlfriend. A couple minutes in the song goes haywire. Dj scratching, sampled voices and hazes of guitar effects. The song is amazing and worth every minute spent listening to it. One of my favorites off the record.
The final song is a hard-core infused cover of the cure�s Goth-wave classic Just Like Heaven
. This track appears on the rerelease while a DJ cover of "Show Me the Way" appears on the original. I sort of dislike some of the guitars in this song and would definitely say the cure one is better, but this is certainly worth a listen. DJ really makes this song sound like their own and it�s a great way to end an excellent album.
J. Mascis (guitar, vocals) Lou Barlow (bass, vocals) and Murph (drums)
Little furry things
If you are a guitarist you owe it to yourself to buy this own, it is one of the finest guitar records ever cut. Whether you buy it from FYE for $17 or for $3 in the thrift store above your local music club is up to you (I highly recommend the latter though.) This is the best piece of ear-bleeding country you will everywhere.