With a band as consistent as Dinosaur Jr, you would hope that their first release in 10 years, “Beyond,” would sound pretty much like the band always has. And it does, with the same grinding, whiny guitars, the insistent wall of sound and the same obscure lyrics.
J Mascis, who was the lone Dinosaur throughout the 1990s, still throws out his trademark alienated, ambiguous statements — “This is all I came to do” — and questions — “If I fix it will you still care?” — alongside his wailing Neil Young guitar crescendos. The return of bassist Lou Barlow, who was kicked out of the band in ’89 because — as he has admitted himself — he couldn’t keep his mouth shut, hasn’t changed the direction that Mascis forged. The one exception is the Barlow-penned “Lightning Bulb,” which hearkens back to their ’88 release “Bug.”
Otherwise, from the charging “Almost Ready” to the meandering “Been There All the Time,” “Beyond” feels like one from the vaults of these dinosaurs of protogrunge.
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