And the ‘Where You Been’ review….
Dinosaur Jr.: "Where You Been"
(Humo 2737, 18th February 1993)
Dinosaur Jr. is on the playlist of Studio Brussel, and although they aren’t playing ‘Start choppin’ that much, it might be a sign for better times. It was about time: â€˜Where You Beenâ€™ is the fifth Dinosaur Jr., and the previous four have been turned away by the BRT [the Belgian radio company] doorman: ("BRT? Go to the right, and then straight onâ€¦", they were last seen near the Polish-Russian border <img> ). About a year ago you saw many a jaw drop when mentioning the name Dinosaur Jr., but since then the guitar has returned to the household inventory again, there is a place for longhaired, unwashed, nonsense mumbling people on the radio again (at Radio 1 they quickly play some Boudewijn de Groot [Dutch folkie, then fitting that description -dB])
Jokes aside, friends, we have to talk about â€˜Where You Beenâ€™. Go to your local recordshop, put on the headphones, and ask for track 10 from the new Dinosaur Jr. album. Close your eyes. When you hear the intro of â€˜I ainâ€™t sayingâ€™ starting like the Scorpions, you think: Jesus Christ, he has lost it, you feel sickâ€¦ Until a few seconds later you hear good old J. Mascis scraping his throat, and the guitars start making an impossible u-turn, and the whole thing starts to sound nicely weird again. You are relieved, and start breathing againâ€¦.
Why am I telling you this parable? To make it clear to you that ‘Where you been’ sounds more melodic than you migh expect, more clearl and tighter than you’re used to, and lots better than ‘Green Mind’, the ‘Undecided Last One’. Not that there aren’t any certainties anymore: in the ?bezwerende? â€˜I know youâ€™re out thereâ€™ Mascis’ voice sounds uncannily like Neil Young after forty beers <img> , his lyrics still are completely dumb <img> , and eight of the ten songs smell the stable halfway through and then change into a wild gallop. But you really shoulds listen to that perfect solo in â€˜Get meâ€™, or the jumping strings in â€˜On the wayâ€™., or â€˜Not the sameâ€™, in which Mascis sounds like Neil Young (after a family package of sedatives), some timpanis and a gently weeping piano sneak through that song as well (with an empty sandwichbox and a small piece of banana [the writer probably has had a couple of Westmalle Triples too many <img> – dB]).
Enjoy the wide open, nearly breaking intro of â€˜What else is newâ€™; the refrain of â€˜Start choppinâ€™ that seems to be inspired by an alarm-signal; the ragged, deeply hurt â€˜Hideâ€™; even the cover drawn by Angry Johnny in Munch-style. You are -understandably- deeply impressed.
It’s a shame that â€˜Turnip farmâ€™ and â€˜Forget itâ€™ (the two great extra tracks on the cd single) don’t appear on the album. It’s a shame that there is a war. It’s a shame that Jan Theys [pathetic Belgian TV-figure – dB] doesn’t have a talkshow. One learns to relativateâ€¦..