The music video for Tiny, the lead single from Dinosaur Jr’s new album Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, has lead singer J. Mascis hitting the halfpipe with Beefy the skateboarding bulldog. It’s the perfect, tongue-in-cheek reflection of a band that’s been around far too long to care about being pretentious.
The US trio doesn’t stray too far from the lo-fi, slacker-surf aesthetic they’ve honed over three decades. On the first listen, first two tracks Goin Down and Tiny are virtually indistinguishable, sharing the same catchy vocal hooks and fuzzy, overdriven guitar.
In terms of songwriting, Dino’s 11th release owes more to the frontman’s early-noughties solo work; Mascis’ sleepy drawl is still there, and the trademark solos slicing through heavy grunge riffs show he is still one of the sharpest guitarists. That said, the tracks penned by Lou Barlow – the folky Love Is… and emo Left/Right – show off the bassist’s distinctive style and astute lyrics, hinting that he’ll be more involved in the writing process in future.
This is a laid-back listen with hidden emotional depths that has you air-guitaring, dreaming of kickflips, and wanting more.