Reunions were once to be approached with caution, but in the last decade the sheer weight of legendary bands getting back together has meant there have been some considerable success stories – the realm of alt.rock and post-punk has seen particularly strong returns from Wire, Polvo, Mission Of Burma and Dinosaur Jr, for example.
With Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph have now made more albums since their reunion in 2005 than before the original trio messily split in 1989, and each of their post-reformation LPs has pushed harder at their self-imposed boundaries – see the Mellotrons blossoming on 2012’s I Bet On Sky, or the nine-minute I Don’t Wanna Go There on 2009’s jammy Farm.
Their fourth post-reunion album, Give A Glimpse… isn’t quite so experimental, but acts more as an impressive amalgamation of their previous work, with Dinosaur very much in a ‘pop’ mode. This is no bad thing when the loudest tracks are as strong as opener Goin Down, with a chugging, distorted riff and flaying Mascis guitar solo, or Good To Know, a searing mix of Sonic Youth and The Only Ones.
Elsewhere, I Walk For Miles is the kind of sludge-rock that Fuzz now do so well, while Tiny and Lost All Day are, in stark contrast, summery, infectious strummers; a little Alex Chilton-esque, albeit smothered in waves of distortion, of course. As is customary, bassist and Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow gets to front a couple of songs of his own, with the closing Left/Right a taut, anguished gem complete with hive-like analogue synths and Spanish guitar picking. Years into their reunion, Dinosaur Jr are still finding stunning ways to express their very singular soul.
– Tom Pinnock