It’s impossible to listen to I Bet on Sky and not be hit square in the face by how much of an impact Dinosaur Jr. has had on modern music.
Review by David Feltman
For roughly 30 years, discounting that one 10-year gap in their discography, Dinosaur Jr. has been turning out the same high-gain, drone leaden noise rock that opened the floodgates for grunge and alt-rock. After all of these years, they haven’t changed a thing.
J Mascis’ trademark drawl is the same as it ever was, influenced as much by Neil Young as much as it influenced Kurt Cobain, the Kirkwood brothers, Isaac Brock and Beck Hansen. It’s impossible to listen to I Bet on Sky and not be hit square in the face by how much of an impact Dinosaur Jr. has had on modern music. Tracks like “Stick a Toe In” would fit in as comfortably at a honky tonk as a hipster dive bar. Hints of country, pinches of punk, sprinkles of metal are used to flavor the familiar formula, but never in overbearing quantities.
There aren’t many people who wouldn’t enjoy this album. Every track on I Bet on Sky luxuriates in its languidness. This is music for drinking or driving or dozing in the sun (not all of these activities should be enjoyed together). The album exudes an aura of carefree contentment that is irresistible. Simply put, if you don’t like this album, you are one sad bastard.
If anything has changed over the years for Mascis and company it’s the loss of the psychedelic freak out sensibility that prevailed in the proto-grunge era. The droning hums and the sloppy leads are all still there, but the need to imbue every songs with feedback and chaotic shrieks and squeaks has long faded. I Bet on Sky shows that grunge didn’t die, it just ripened and mellowed.
Make sure you head out to Variety Playhouse on 10/2 to see the band live in Atlanta or check http://www.dinosaurjr.com/ for tour dates in your city.