Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
Reviewed by: Matt Kelchner
Since reuniting with their original lineup in 2005, indie rock legends Dinosaur Jr. have turned this new chapter from a one off miracle into fruitful new era. Beginning with 2007’s Beyond, the group has recorded three studio albums together. Today marks the addition of a fourth, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, and it shows that the fuzzy, guitar-buzzing spark is still there for the trio.
With ’90s influences becoming more and more prevalent in newer, up and coming bands, there could not be any better time for Dinosaur Jr. to take the veil off their latest album. The record begins with “Goin Down” and “Tiny”, a mighty one-two punch of classic Dinosaur Jr. tracks. The chugging guitars, hard hitting drums and bouncy bass lines echo sounds that fans should be familiar with. The melodies, and solos for that matter, from both are as “hooky” as ever. Getting them stuck in your head should be no trouble, but good luck getting them out.
Notably absent throughout Give a Glimpse… is the same focus on keyboards that was found on 2012’s I Bet On Sky. However, that doesn’t mean there is not any experimentation to be found. “I Walk For Miles” shows Mascis trading in fast paced, alt rock for a sludgier, slow burning sound. With the slower tempo also comes more room for dancing around the guitar neck. And that is taken full advantage of.
Elsewhere on the album, notes of Mascis’ solo work are sprinkled throughout as well. Well thought out tracks that don’t rely on heavy distortion as a crutch are a welcomed new avenue, most notably on “Be A Part” and to a lesser extent “Lost All Day”.
Bassist Lou Barlow provides two selections on Give a Glimpse of What Yer Net, “Love Is…” and album closer “Left/Right”. While his songwriting on past albums may not be anything that stands out, these two tracks show tremendous growth as they begin to be able to stand their own amongst the Mascis cuts.
Overall Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not is what we can all expect out from this new iteration of the old version of Dinosaur Jr. The earworm hooks are there. So are the seemingly effortless solos. And while at times the album begins to sound a little too much like what we can expect, the glimmers of different help bring it into it’s own light.