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    CD REVIEWS Vol. 6 No. 14 December 8 – 14, 2000
    J Mascis + The Fog
    More Light
    Ultimatum Music

    After Lou Barlow was kicked out in 1988, Dinosaur Jr became an all-J Mascis project. No surprise, then, that Mascis’ new backing band, the Fog, is almost all J, all the time (on this album, he’s got help on vocals from Guided By Voices’ Bob Pollard with assistance from My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields). Mascis found a formula years ago—becoming the indie-rock Eddie Van Halen in the process—and has lugged it along ever since. That said, everything about More Light is mid-’90s Dinosaur Jr, right down to the title font and the Neil Blender artwork on the CD cover. Mascis’ lyrics still bristle with desperate insecurity ("Remember when I really blew it/Wish I would’ve thought of you," from "Ammaring"), and his best songs still come out swinging hard. "Back Before You Go" shows he can also still take hair-rock riffing and turn it into something honest. "I’m Not Fine" apes Crazy Horse, while "Ammaring" is a sweet, bluesy number with Mascis deploying his molasses-coated voice to pout about confusion. His few attempts at fucking with the formula flop, though: the piano on "Ground Me to You" and the synth washes of "Waistin" are unfocused, while the ending title track sounds like an ugly My Bloody Valentine song backed by a drum machine. But the songwriting is familiar enough to please old Dino fans, especially those whose favorite album was Where You Been. (Michael Coyle)


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