What Dinosaur Jr. produce is nothing but a new version of the rock continuum - riff, power, beat and longing, created with a view to the infinite future. In their songs, they combine harmonious to urgent-edged alternative rock.

Cara Totman


In the decades since the release of DINOSAUR JR.‘s triptych of founding albums, it‘s clear that their sound, once hailed as a form of almost tamed noise, is/was/always was more of a fully functioning pop music genre. Melodies have always been at the center of everything they did.
Recorded as always at Amherst‘s Bisquiteen Studio, the sessions for „Sweep It Into Space“ began in late Fall 2019, following a West Coast/Southeast tour. The only additional musician featured this time around was Kurt Vile, who co-produced the album and played lead 12-string guitar on the lilting „I Ran Away“. J Masci‘s voice is instantly catchy over the soaring, electrifying guitar lines. After recording with Kurt was interrupted, J Mascis ended with „just mimicking a few things he‘d done. I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy, so I was trying to get some of that dueling twin lead sound. But the recording session was pretty well finished by the time things really hit the fan. When the lockdown happened in March, that meant I was on my own. But it was cool.“
As it was for Dinsoaur JR. typically, Lou Barlow wrote and sings two of the album‘s dozen tracks (and provides perhaps his finest Dinosaur contribution on „Garden“), and Murph‘s drumming propels the record like a go-cart from hell. LOU‘s songs here are as elegant as ever. J‘s tracks flow and blossom in the different directions he often pursues. Some are guitar wailers, with a stringy sound halfway between Hendrix and Asheton. Some are power ballads, and there are anomalies, like „Take It Back,“ which opens with a blue-beat rhythm reminiscent (at least a little) of Keith Richards‘ Jamaican explorations.
But there are very few moments where you wouldn‘t know you were watching Dinosuar JR. heard, even if you put the needle blindfolded anywhere on the record. They have a distinctive sound, as sure as the Stooges or Sonic Youth or Discharge ever had. With „Sweep It Into Space“ they continue to expand their personal universe without ever losing their central core.

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Cara Totman