Dinosaur Jr-I Bet On Sky
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Do you remember grunge? Back in the old days, before, y’know, Puddle Of Mudd? Would you like to listen to what would have happened to grunge if it had stayed awesome and hadn’t become, y’know, Puddle Of Mudd? Well, Dinosaur Jr feel your pain and to ease your troubled mind, they create grunge music that has both evolved and adapted to modern times whilst still wearing its flannel shirt on its sleeves. The Massachusetts alternative rockers, Dinosaur Jr should need little introduction; their tenth album, and the third since their 2005 reunion, I Bet On Sky is everything you could possibly expect from a Dinosaur Jr album, and then some.
I Bet On Sky is filled with what Dinosaur Jr do best. Thrashing yet calm, slacker rock tinged guitars envelope every track, J Mascis' signature wail manages to sound as despondent yet relaxed as ever, and through the scuzz and distortion lies catchy as hell choruses and guitar lines that will imprint themselves upon your memory. If you’ve never heard a Dinosaur Jr song before, you’ve probably gotten the impression that this band is somewhat at odds with itself, but somehow they manage to make these opposites work together like cookies and cream.
Tracks like opener “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” and “Watch The Corners” are alt rock anthems in the making; the first is dipped in a laid back summer vibe, whilst being as edgy as anything Dinosaur Jr has written. “Watch The Corners” is a little more of a showcase of Dinosaur Jr’s hardcore influences, with the excellent juxtaposition of heavy guitars alongside winding solos and a general anthemic, fist-pumping feel. The album only gets better, “Pierce The Morning Rain” is a fast as they come and is quite upbeat, whilst “Recognition” shows a very modern side to the band, with angular guitars and a more introspective vocal delivery from Mascis. “Stick A Toe In” is as close as the album gets to a ballad, but never becomes stolid or generic. It’s basically the sort of slow song that every middle of the road rock band attempts to write, but fails at. Dinosaur Jr certainly don’t fail and “Stick A Toe In” is a highlight of the record.
A little bit of criticism may be directed to the lack of change in sound for Dinosaur Jr as the album is largely what would be expected of them, but to be honest, Dinosaur Jr do not need to change their sound. They are the best at what they do, and there’s no rivals for their crown. I Bet On Sky is an album packed with ten songs that will make you rock out but embody the slacker sound. Also, despite displaying their love of hardcore through certain parts of the album, Dinosaur Jr have created the most accessible heavy album of this year, with every track being suitable for any radio station or soundtrack. I Bet On Sky shows that you don’t need to teach an old dinosaur new tricks.
Have loved this album after quite a few listens and seeing them live. It is definitely the Dinosaur Jr. I have expected after their last few albums and that is a good thing. "Watch The Corners" is easily one of their best songs and it is amazing to say that after how long they have been around. It translates live so well.
I agree that Farm is the better record of the comeback records but I Bet On The Sky is worth a listen.