Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 2/12
I Bet On Sky
Written by: PP on 03/10/2012 05:25:14
If you've ever wondered which band was one of the primary influences to the early 90s grunge scene that produced Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots alongside other seminal bands, the answer is Dinosaur Jr. Formed all the way back in mid 80s, they pioneered the grungy guitar sound and the nostalgia-driven clean vocal croons that inspired Eddie Vedder to write some of the most legendary songs known to man, and have kept at it ever since aside from a 10 year hiatus between 1997 and 2007. "I Bet On Sky", their tenth studio album, is the third one since their reunion and basically shows that even though their glory days are long gone now, the old alternative rockers still know how to hit the listener's sweet spot with quality musicianship and an impeccable sense for melodic guitar noise.
The success of Dinosaur Jr has always stemmed from two things exactly: vocalist J Mascis' pre-grunge vocal style, that includes a little bit of roughness into a smooth-sailing clean delivery that resonates nicely in the unpolished soundscapes, and from their noisy, treble-driven guitars, where riffs and solos are in spotlight throughout. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to argue that every riff and solo shines for the pure joy of playing guitar, a rare feat these days when most modern bands treat the guitar just as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. So that success is continued on "I Bet On Sky", specifically on highlight tracks "Almost Fare", "Don't Pretend You Didn't Know", "Pierce The Morning Rain", but also generally throughout the album. It's alternative rock in the very 90s sense of the genre, before trends and genre mish-mashing blurred the foundations of the genre and it became something entirely different (like Biffy Clyro, Muse, etc have demonstrated since then).
Yet it's clear from the overall listening experience that "I Bet On Sky" is merely Dinosaur Jr being Dinosaur Jr, a band still capable of writing solid rock albums but not likely able to write another genre-defining, seminal album that'll resonate with an entire generation the same way as "You're Living All Over Me" did, for instance. Now I don't know about you guys but that's still fine by me, and it's always refreshing to hear a veteran band stay consistent.
Download: Almost Fare, Don't Pretend You Didn't Know, Pierce The Morning Rain
For the fans of: Dave Matthews Band, Mudhoney, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam
Release date 13.09.2012