Dinosaur Jr.
Without a Sound


3.0
good

Review

by ExcentrifugalForz USER (19 Reviews)
May 24th, 2014 | 18 replies | 988 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Year's '94 and my trunk is raw/in my rearview mirror is the mother*^&*% law

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

It would seem that 1994 wasn’t good year for people named J(ay). Working on album number six in the Dino catalog Mascis was now alone in the band after having fired the last original member. The repercussion of which meant that J had to perform almost all the different instrumentation in the studio by himself. There were also rumors that he was addicted to soap operas which either speaks to the eccentricities of J or equally likely a depressive state of mind. Finally, and most importantly, it was during this time that Mascis lost his dad which he later conceded had a significant impact on the records creation.

Anyone who has ever seen J hold a conversation would be forgiven for thinking he has savant like tendencies. Normally extremely subdued as if over medicated the only time J lets loose is with a guitar in hand. That’s what makes this record so frustrating. It is the one time in his career when his playing isn’t full of wild impulses and dramatic sweeps but instead comes off as subdued meandering that lacks the usual spark of creativity or “gnarl” as the original members call it. J doesn’t figure out until the next album how to properly express musically the solitude that comes with pushing people away.

There is still a lot to like in this album. Tracks like Grab It and Feel the Pain show J still able to rock and they would fit nicely onto any of his other albums. The creativity evident on Mind Glow to change things up with an acoustic guitar for the solos is an instantly gratifying experiment. I would nominate Get Out of This for the best song award with its incredible building climax of the last few minutes. The album ends with Over Your Shoulder which is reputedly a tribute to the father departed and is really a touching way to end a record.

For those that experience colored vision brought on by music this album is really disappointing. Instead of the vibrant 2001 Space Odyssey warp scene Dino usually unleashes this album manifests frequently as just muted browns like you're stuck in the pants section in one of those 'vintage' lost in time stores. You can’t blame a man for creating music based on his current state of mind in fact regardless of the results that is preferable to making an album purely for commercial purposes. Even so, thanks to highly promoted singles this surprisingly ended up being the highest charting album Dinosaur jr. ever released to that point.

It can be argued the difference between good and bad music has more to do with the emotional connection with the listener and less important is the skill of the musicians or style they play. Meaning your favorite music is simply what fits your frame of mind the most often. In that context I would never say this is a bad album but its the jr. record that rarely gets a turn on the record player.



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user ratings (227)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
SnakeDelilah
May 24th 2014



5414 Comments


Feel the Pain is the only song I know by these guys. Judging by the avg I'm guessing that's a bad thing. :[

Digging: Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 24th 2014



11966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn snake jam yloam lol

thanks for reviewing this

Digging: Secret Band - S/T

BMDrummer
May 24th 2014



4320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Damn, you beat me to it : (

Digging: Svffer - Lies We Live

ExcentrifugalForz
May 24th 2014



1609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sorry BM it had to be done.

this cd has gone without a review for too long.

YoYoMancuso
May 24th 2014



10885 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice this needed a review

ArsMoriendi
May 24th 2014



3720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this did need a review.

but Forz, I feel like this review didn't talk about the album itself enough. It seemed to be more about the troubles J Mascis was going through, rather than actual sound, techniques and themes of the album.

Also you never mentioned the vocal contributions of Thalia Zedek, who appeared prominently on multiple songs such as "I Don't Think So", 'Yeah Right", and "Get Out of This."

Just an observation though...

DrGonzo1937
May 24th 2014



5229 Comments


Great review

jtswope
May 24th 2014



1868 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

About time someone reviewed this. Great review.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 24th 2014



11966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i don't really like feel the pain

KILL
May 24th 2014



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the live version rules how they speed up the chorus

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Ire
May 24th 2014



41749 Comments


heard this is okish

YoYoMancuso
May 24th 2014



10885 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Feel The Pain and Mind Glow are good, haven't heard the rest

turnip90210
May 24th 2014



308 Comments


There used to be a review for this thing, no clue where it went.

This record is about as lifeless as Dino got. It grows on you. Extremely, extremely slowly. Over many years.

KriegdemKriege
May 24th 2014



962 Comments


Awww

I was gonna review this over the summer.

I think this is a really underrated album. I'd rate it at a 4.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 30th 2014



11966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'blah' from the melrose place soundtrack is so much better than every song here

ExcentrifugalForz
May 31st 2014



1609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

never heard that track
thanks for the heads up

bach
June 11th 2014



11966 Comments


album might not be j's best work but feel the pain>>>>>

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

tommygun
June 11th 2014



23604 Comments


agreed with foxxxy and kill feel the pain is only good live

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon



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