Review Summary: if it ain’t broke
Now a decade on from their surprise reunion, the blueprint followed by the classic Dinosaur Jr. lineup is well established: amps cranked to 11, one part distortion, two parts melody, and three parts face-melting guitar solos. Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
is no different, seeing resident guitar wizard and Saruman lookalike J Mascis riff, drawl, and shred his way through another bittersweet set of tunes while bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph hold it all together. Structurally, Give a Glimpse
takes a step down from the relative airiness of 2012’s I Bet on Sky
to land somewhere between the vibrant Beyond
and the leg-stretching Farm
, without quite reaching the dizzy heights of either. Lead single ‘Tiny’ is a fair representation of the record as a whole, with its cheerful riffing and upbeat music video (complete with skateboarding bulldog), and further instant gratification comes courtesy of ball-tearer ‘Good to Know’ and the Sabbath-flavoured sludge of ‘I Walk for Miles’. Elsewhere, moodier tunes ‘Be a Part’ and ‘Mirror’ keep on giving with additional spins, while the obligatory pair of Lou songs hit all the usual spots. ‘Love Is…’ in particular provides a breath of fresh ‘60s air as Barlow’s folk stylings mesh seamlessly with Mascis’ spiky leads. While the paint-by-numbers approach occasionally underwhelms, for the most part it’s business as usual - and business is fuckin’ booming. The mighty Dinosaur Jr. continue to kick the arse of every other band on the planet, and they show no signs of slowing.