J, Lou and Murph return with their first record since 2012’s I Bet on Sky, and Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not underlines the cohesion and collective strength developed over a run of four records post reformation. What is most notable is that this era of Dinosaur Jr. is now the longest lasting.
For the most part, there’s nothing new here – J Mascis generally deals in a reassuringly familiar style of song construction. You know what’s coming and what it’s likely to sound like but the journey is the reward. Equally familiar is the customary cracking start to the record – ‘Goin Down’ and ‘Tiny’ are lean, hooky beasts, emblematic of all that is good about this band.
‘Be A Part’ sounds the sole lame note on a remarkably consistent record – largely existing for the purpose of building towards J’s (admittedly excellent) solo. Most noteworthy are the contributions from Lou Barlow – ‘Love Is…’ offers a deeply rewarding change in tone at the mid-point of the record, with double tracked vocals and a slightly greater degree of depth texturally, while ‘Left/Right’ closes out the LP with aplomb. Post reformation, Lou’s contributed two tracks per record – not usually anything out of the ordinary. This time, he sounds truly energised.
The bludgeoning ‘I Walk for Miles’, beautifully melodic ‘Lost All Day’, and (initially) sparse ‘Knocked Around’ sit comfortably side by side in the latter half of the LP – and therein lies the brilliance of modern day Dinosaur Jr, knowing their strengths and delivering upon them.
Reassuringly familiar, unfailingly melodic and laden with classic Mascis solos, Dinosaur Jr give us a glimpse of what they very much are – and it’s something to be greatly enjoyed.