Dinosaur Jr.: I Bet On Sky | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019  

Dinosaur Jr.

I Bet On Sky

Jagjaguwar

Sep 21, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue Bookmark and Share


Since re-forming seven years ago, Dinosaur Jr.—J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph—has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is still as powerful and dynamic a power trio as it ever was in its original form in the late '80s. I Bet On Sky is the third album the band has released since its reunion, and it concludes the perfect trifecta. If 2007's Beyond was the band's reclaiming the sonic umph and guitar onslaught of its original albums and 2009's Farm showed it loosening up and venturing into more pop-oriented territory, I Bet On Sky finds Dinosaur Jr. settling into an even more comfortable place. Comfortable enough to slather the album's opening track "Don't Pretend You Didn't Know" with keyboard, apparently. That's right. On first listen, it's a bit jarring, as if it's a holdover from Mascis' The Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr. with Built to Spill's Doug Martsch, but the band soon gravitates toward more familiar territory, with the chugging guitar riffery of "Watch the Corners" and the locked-in groove of "Almost Fare." The giant, cascading "Stick a Toe In" finds Mascis in introspective mood, vulnerable, questioning, and self-aware, singing, "Don't let me cheat you...you deserve it again." "Pierce the Morning Rain" rides high on Stooges-like chug and typical Dinosaur Jr. melodic bliss. And Barlow's two songs here—the ultra-catchy "Rude" and the propulsive "Recognition"—might be the best he's ever brought to the band. There's a certain amount of any Dinosaur Jr. album that is distinctly definable by the fact that it is Dinosaur Jr., and this album is no different. Fine distinctions, not grand diversions, differentiate. But I Bet On Sky fits nicely within the band's catalog, former and present. With every new album, we can thank the gods of indie rock that these old dinosaurs are still kicking out the jams. (www.dinosaurjr.com)

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