Dinosaur Jr. - Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
It has been a long and convoluted road for Team Mascis with several break ups and implosions along the way, and Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not holds even more significance as it is their fourth release since the original line up reformed in 2005 meaning that the original line up have now released more records in the 21st Century than they did in the 20th. On listening, it is recognisably Dinosaur Jr., but Give A Glimpse… is more than that as it’s their most cohesive work since their reformation. With nine of the eleven tracks penned by Mascis, and the remaining by Barlow, the album feels more a Dinosaur Jr. record, than some J. Mascis songs followed by some Lou Barlow songs.
In spite of their ups and downs the group’s sound hasn’t altered much over the years, the influences of Neil Young and Black Sabbath are still on show; amps are definitely cranked up to 12. However, Give A Glimpse… highlights perfectly their maturing songwriting mixed with their trademark croaking vocals and focus on the Mascis riff-tastic fret shredding. The album opener ‘Goin’ Down’ plants this flag firmly with its 80s metal Warrant-like chugging riff sprinkled with the early grunge of Soundgarden. Highlights of the album include lead single ‘Tiny’ a brilliant bounce along that is done and dusted in a little over three minutes, the Barlow penned ‘Love Is..’ which is pure Creedence Clearwater Revival and does not suffer a bit because of it, the grimy swamp rock of ‘I Walk For Miles’, and album closer ‘Left/Right’ with its interweaving guitar lines and chunky bass lines.
Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not does at times threaten to become repetitive and pedestrian, something that’s been a problem at times with their previous work. However, as with their previous best, they know when to switch gears and to smack you around the face with a new riff. What impresses most is that the album is so identifiable as a Dinosaur Jr. despite the ongoing side projects such as Sebadoh and Sweet Apple, and doesn’t become a pale imitation of their former glories. Resting on laurels is not something that factors into this band’s world.