It's the reunion we all thought we'd never see. When J Mascis and Lou Barlow parted ways in 1989 following three hugely acclaimed and enormously influential albums it was generally understood that the relationship was, sadly, irreparably damaged. While J continued with Dinosaur Jr, Lou went on to form Sebadoh & Folk Implosion and the original Dinosaur Jr line-up seemed unlikely to ever rekindle their magic.
Dinosaur Jr are now widely recognized as one of the most significant American rock bands of all time; the sound they pioneered in the late-80s having permeated through the past 20 years. Preceding Nirvana by several years, they were instrumental in bringing the crashing sounds of lead guitar back to indie rock. It wasn't just their signature metallic haze that made an impression on listeners; their effects-laden guitars were wrapped around some of the best songwriting of the decade. The first three albums – Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me and Bug – were cult masterpieces and when the original line up of Mascis, Barlow and drummer Murph re-formed in 2005 for select live dates it was apparent that the years apart had not eroded any of their vitality. In fact, many critics claimed their shows were even better than they used to be. It was natural, then, that the band would begin to work on new material.
It's not often that a reunion creates work as stellar as what's gone before, but the new album Beyond, recorded at J's Bisquiteen studio in Amherst, Mass, isn't just a great come-back. It's not even just a brilliant return to form. Quite simply, Beyond, is some of the best music Dinosaur Jr have ever made. From the opening squeals of "Almost Ready" to the crashing closing bars of "What If I Knew.." it's an adrenaline-inducing ride, not of nostalgia, but of bona fide excitement at a band bursting with ebullient creative energy.
1) Almost Ready
3) Pick Me Up
4) Back To Your Heart
5) This Is All I Came To Do
6) Been There All The Time
7) It's Me
8)We're Not Alone
9) I Got Lost
10) Lightning Bulb
11) What If I Knew…
Now signed to independent Mississippi label Fat Possum Dinosaur Jr are set to release Beyond on May 1st, 2007.
Dinosaur Jr will release a new DVD in May 2007 and the long-awaited Dinosaur Jr Nike skate shoe will be available for a limited run in February. Watch this space for news on more astounding live shows.