Release Date: Jun 23, 2009
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
So now we know Beyond, Dino's 2007 original-lineup comeback record, wasn't a fluke. In fact, it was an indication of greater records to come; Farm actually bests Beyond's triumphs. [rssbreak] Yes, J. Mascis is still the only man in slacker-generation alternative rock who can play squealing guitar solos on every song and get away with it, as evidenced on the beautifully plaintive Plans.
Beyond, the first album to feature the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup since their 1980s heyday, was so surprisingly good it was tempting to call it a fluke. Tempting, but wrong-- two years after its release, it still sounds great, on par with the early, hallowed triumvirate of Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me, and Bug. For any cynics still chalking Beyond up to luck, Farm should blast the scales from your jaded eyes.
If Farm lacks the element of surprise of Dinosaur Jr. 's 2007 comeback, Beyond, that's just about the only thing it lacks: in every other respect it is its equal, a muscular, melodic monster that stands among the best albums the band has made. Again, what impresses is a combination of vigor and consistency, consistency not only in regards to the songs on Farm, but how it picks up on the thread running throughout the band's career, feeling as if it could have arrived in the early '90s, minus some subtle distinctions in production and attitude.
Review Summary: Farm is the album everybody expected Dinosaur Jr. to make. If anything, that just means it's good. Excellent, even.Back when Beyond was released in 2007 it had been twenty-three years since Dinosaur Jr. had first formed. The album wasn't quite as good as some of their earlier ….
Nirvana might have been the band the NME proclaimed as 'the Guns N' Roses it's OK to like' back in 1991, but it was earlier work by Dinosaur Jr, along with fellow Massachusettians the Pixies, that had first thrust loud, screaming guitar into the heart of indie music (which before they did so was never called 'indie rock'). J Mascis and Lou Barlow had first played together in the hardcore band Deep Wound, and coming out of that scene while having a taste for subtler and more melodic bands like The Dream Syndicate - part of the Paisley Underground scene actively opposed to the violence of the LA hardcore scene - Dinosaur Jr sat at the meeting point of several styles. From the other side of grunge and nearly two decades of cross-genre pollination the blending of country motifs with 1970s metal riffs, or lacing the spikiness of punk and garage rock with strands of folk and goth rock, doesn't seem half as weird as it did in the mid-1980s, when such collisions weren't just rare: they were virtually non-existent.
“Unambitious” is not a word that’s typically associated with great music. In fact, living in an era with a media culture obsessed with the most embryonic of the new, the most exciting thing-you’ve-never-heard, just its mention could flat-line a new band. Dinosaur Jr. are not, however, a new band and in their hands unambition is a badge of honour, a waved flag of defiance.
The old adage ”Time heals? all wounds” may have no stronger proponents than Dinosaur Jr., a band whose original, critically adored lineup violently broke apart two decades ago, only to re-form in 2005 without missing a beat (or swinging a punch). Farm owes more to Dino’s poppier mid-’90s alt-rock heyday than the ’80s albums recorded by this configuration. Still, frontman J Mascis is more than capable of stirring up a whirlwind of melodic feedback, suitable for heshers of any age.
Beyond (2007) found the original lineup of Dinosaur Jr.—J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph—reunited after 20 years. That album began with a head-spinning, fuzzed-out guitar line on “Almost Ready” that triumphantly announced the second coming of a classic American band. The songwriting and execution found on “Almost Ready” and on the rest of the fine work that followed, displayed a singular focus even in the midst of all that muddy shredding.
Continues where 2007's sprightly comeback album Beyond left off, with the 80s alt-rock veterans' original line-up and gift for covering scraggy vocals with gigantic fuzzy riffs very much intact..
Don't judge this album by its cover, lest you be convinced it's a concept album about Tolkien's Ents whisking away J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Patrick Murphy. Instead it's more huge tides of Mascis's guitar, overlaid by his semi-comatose vocals. The single defining point of Dinosaur Jr is that their music was classic rock played by hardcore punks - heard most clearly on the ballad Ocean in the Way, which should be a gentle, acoustic number, rather than an avalanche of Fenders.
When Dinosaur Jr. ended a long hiatus with 2007’s Beyond, it was a triumphant return. The only album that gives the band’s 1987 masterpiece, You’re Living All Over Me, a run for best-of-catalog status, Beyond signified a don’t-call-it-a-comeback kind of comeback. Indeed, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph had been here for years, but they also hadn’t been working together for years.
Two years ago, Dinosaur Jr. returned with its original trio to deliver one of 2007’s best albums. Asserting itself as the loud and grunge master it sincerely is, J Mascis and crew have now found their fountain of youth with Farm. An album every bit as good as Beyond, it’s time to realize that not only is Dinosaur Jr.
Unlike contemporaries Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. isn't trying to tighten up. The original Amherst, Mass., trio has mellowed with age, without compromising its sonic swell. Opener "Pieces" and follow-up "I Want You to Know" are impressive ramp-ups to their fifth album and Jagjaguwar debut. Lou Barlow ….