As unstoppable as ever
Tom Dibb
15:29 19th April 2021

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Alt-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. return with their much-anticipated twelfth studio album Sweep It Into Space this Friday (23 April). Originally slated for a 2020 release, absence has only made the heart grow fonder as throughout the record's 12 tracks, Dinosaur Jr.’s monolithic brand of proto-shoegaze sounds as unstoppable as ever.

The album opens in typical Dinosaur Jr. fashion with the fuzz and overdriven sounds of ‘I Ain’t’. Chock full of shoegaze, noise anger and bile, the track still reflects the outfit's undeniable pop sensibilities. The vocals are gravelly and dirty, wonderfully accompanying the harshness of the guitar tones and exacerbating the track's anger. Following on from this is ‘I Met The Stones’ with the band demonstrating their ability to take any genre and blend it into their own style. First it was guitar pop and now it’s '70s hard rock. With the chugging guitars and blended riffs, the track sounds like a mid-'70s Stones cut pressed through a college rock steamroller.

Tracks such as ‘I Ran Away’ show a much more introspective and down-beat side to the group. Taking a break from overdriven guitar and tremolo playing, the track allows for the drum beat to take the drivers seat. This coupled with the acoustic guitar that shines through the track showcases a softer and more melancholic side to the band, with Dinosaur Jr. showing both their age - and a tender side. This softer side continues in track ‘Take It Back’. From it’s pop-tinged piano lead in, to it’s Gun’s ‘N’ Roses-esque riffs in the chorus, it bridges the gap between hard rock and blues in a truly wonderful way.

The album reaches its highpoint with ‘And Me’. A blending of fast-paced acoustic and chugging, hard electric guitar, it's a full on tour de force with the blending of guitar tones it feels like a grunge The Wonder Stuff. Slowing in the chorus, feedback filled guitars serve to emphasise the vocal delivery, and blend wonderfully with J Mascis’ gravelly tones.

Sweep It Into Space is a wonderful journey in noise rock. Loud shredding guitars blend wonderfully with the softer more introspective guitar tones, making this an expert example to all up-and-coming bands attempting to tackle the genre. Take note kids: this is what to do if you want to be revered with the greats.

Sweep It Into Space arrives 23 April via Jagjaguwar.

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Photo: Press