It’s both a trip to the ’90s that could have been if the Mascis, Barlow, Murph line-up had stuck together and a revival of their collective rock roots, a crashing wave of unrelenting solos, hard-tossed vocals and gain-heavy grinds.
I Bet On Sky patches together the bittersweet and the bombastic—which has always been Mascis’ specialty.
The sun-frazzled mood occasionally edges towards torpor but Dinosaur are rescued by their restlessness. Loud, weighty but oddly civilised.
Some listeners may lament this retreat from the hefty barrage of sound that was 2009’s Farm, but it is crucial that a band such as this progresses and varies itself
Be it maturity, empathy, professionalism, or what have you, whatever Dinosaur Jr.’s doing is working.
The way all the pieces fit on I Bet on Sky gives you the idea that they’re doing more than just letting bygones be bygones, but actually learning to appreciate one another in a way that allows them to play off each others’ strengths.
Throughout, Mascis' voice is calmer, less ragged; Sky sometimes feels like his acoustic album Several Shades of Why married to a fuller backing band.
It’s perhaps the most Dinosaur Jr.-y Dinosaur Jr. album that they’ve released to date, and you can’t really fault them for that fact.
Even the most talented group of songwriters are bound to come up short once in a while, and what’s so frightening about that happening on I Bet On Sky is how good it still is.
With every new album, we can thank the gods of indie rock that these old dinosaurs are still kicking out the jams.
There's much to enjoy here but nothing that will stay with you for years to come.
|# 29 -||SPIN|