Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
Of all the ‘80s/’90s college rock bands that grabbed nostalgia by the throat and announced plans to reunite with the original line up, Dinosaur Jr. seemed to be the one with the best chance of imploding in quick, spectacular fashion. Granted they never really had the blistering hatred that Morrissey seems to have for some of his former mates in The Smith’s (then again, he obviously holds the same disdain for just about everyone and everything), but drummer Lou Barlow pretty much made it Sebadoh’s mission statement to write as many songs possible about how much of a dick he thought J Mascis was for kicking him out of Dinosaur Jr.
So many, likely including Barlow, Mascis and bassist, Murph included, were shocked that 2005’s European reunion tour ended not with instruments thrown at each other, but studio dates that led to a new album in 2007. The resulting years, lead to more albums, each as solidly dependable as their now-classic late 1980s offerings.
The latest, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, may be their finest moment since You’re Living All Over Me; There’s a little less distortion this time around, a lot more focus and the trio has gone from simply being ambitious, angry punks thrashing out an identity to truly impressive musicians in the span of two decades. The guitar solo alone on a song like “Good to Know” or the big drum sound like “I Walk for Miles” would have been little more than wishful thinking in ’87. Lyrically that band is also at its best here and the words get a beautiful showcase on some of the slower songs, like the surprisingly sweet “Knocked Around.”
Since reuniting, The Pixies split with Kim Deal, The Replacements gave it a shot and walked away almost mid set again and The Police quickly cashed their paychecks and just as quickly stopped taking each other’s calls. All the while, Dino Jr seems to have pulled off the once-unimaginable and are churning out some of their best songs ever.