By Dinosaur Jr
Full kudos must go to Dinosaur Jr for upholding the noble and valiant art of the guitar solo; almost every track on new album "Beyond" features at least one example of smartly-executed fretboard frivolities. At times you are reminded of Brian Molko's (he of Placebo) old assertion - "No middle eight? Ok - masturbate!" Luckily there is a strong song-writing base on which this whimsical noodling sits on top of.
Following the lead of seemingly every successful American indie band of the nineties - hello Pixies! Hello Lemonheads! - and deciding to reform after a long hiatus, 'Beyond' is Dinosaur Jr's first studio album in eighteen years. Featuring the original line-up of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and drummer Murph, the sound is still essentially the "Junior" of old - slightly off-key, yearning vocals, scattergun drumming and fuzz-grunge guitars that play off catchy power chord changes and warm melodies.
There are no particular standout tracks - so don't expect a "Freakscene" lurking anywhere. However songs such as boisterous opener "Almost Ready" and "Been There All the Time" are good enough to recall why the outfit were such a highly-regarded underground proposition when they first started out. Elsewhere on the album "I Got Lost" displays a more gentle side to the trio, and "What If I Knew" closes the L.P. with aplomb. Sure to be appearing at a festival near you soon.