J Mascis - Tied To A Star
J Mascis has rarely countered that initial public perception of him as being so laid back as to be permanently horizontal. Those monosyllabic interviews give little away; instead Mascis has let his music do the talking and Tied To A Star is his fifth album in seven years as he switches between solo works and the revived (and thriving) Dinosaur Jr brand. The difference mainly comes down to volume, with a heavier reliance on acoustic guitars when he's flying alone, yet quality levels remain high across both brands.
While Mascis rose to the higher echelons of alternative guitar god on the back of his searing solos, he's proven himself equally adept on folkier playing, with hints of more psychedelic material. Both the instrumental 'Drifter' and 'Heal The Star' build upon raga stylings, at other times he uses sweet picking to complement his distinctive drawl and falsetto. Chan Marshall drops in to lend a hand on 'Wide Awake', while the catchy 'Every Morning' is the nearest things get to his main gig. Wrapped up in some of the cutest artwork of 2014, Tied To A Star does enough to please the faithful while also encouraging new listeners to explore what's turning out to be a stellar back catalogue.