‘I Bet On Sky’ (PIAS)
Recommended TrackPierce The Morning Rain, Don’t Pretend You Didn't Know, Rude
Dinosaur Jr. devotees could be forgiven for panicking when J Mascis proclaimed their new LP to be “pretty light on guitars”. But while softer textures do dominate – fans hoping for another ‘Freakscene’ or ‘Sludgefeast’ might want to shift their expectations at this point – the third band effort since Lou Barlow and drummer Murph rejoined in 2005 feels more like one of the records J produced during the intervening years. The jaunty gait of ‘Almost Fare’ comes with a sprightliness that has lain dormant since 1991’s breakthrough ‘Green Mind’, while the metallic-edged country of Lou’s contribution ‘Rude’ calls to mind his other outfit Sebadoh – albeit Sebadoh on a weighttraining programme and a strict diet of broken glass. If anything, ‘I Bet On Sky’ feels like Dinosaur’s belated middle-age album, which seems fair given the three members are more than halfway through their forties. There are still solos as manic and electrifying as J’s finest moments, but they’re somewhat truncated. Instead, the accent’s on riffs, melodies and Murph’s muscular rhythms. This isn’t a reinvention of Dinosaur Jr. so much as a sideways glance; a new angle to help us appreciate their wonder in a new light.