June 11, 2005 at 9:13 am #48028
rambleonParticipantQuote:First Night reviews
June 10, 2005
Stephen Dalton at The Forum, NW5
NOWADAYS at least one semi-legendary cult band from the 1980s seems to reform every other week to show the young pretenders how things should be done. Some of these reunions have proved anti- climactic, but a live comeback by Dinosaur Jr was guaranteed to make an impact, if only because of their famously cataclysmic volume. At the first of two London shows on Wednesday the former Boston (:shock:) college rockers left ears not just ringing but bleeding.
With his greying mane and paunchy frame, the guitarist and singer J. Mascis slouched on stage looking somewhat older than his 39 years. But otherwise his trademark juxtaposition of lethargic bloodhound moans with roaring, shuddering, screamingly incontinent guitar solos remains unchanged two decades after he unwittingly helped to lay the musical foundations for the grunge boom of the late 1980s. The missing link between Neil Young and Kurt Cobain, Mascis even took an obscure Seattle band called Nirvana on tour with him in 1991.
WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s show was a no-frills affair as the scruffy trio bashed out raw versions of vintage album tunes, including Raisans and Little Fury Things. A cryptic lyricist, Mascis has never been interested in forming verbal or emotional bonds with audiences, but he speaks volumes through his guitar, literally. Although grounded in heavy metal and hardcore punk, his marathon solos still sound like little else in the rock pantheon, often crossing the pain threshold into discordant, avant-garde noise.
Not long into their set, it became clear that Dinosaur Jr have only two basic song styles: breakneck, ramshackle punk racket and sludgy, semi-comatose trundle. With scant visual distraction, the show became bogged down in such soundalike compositions at the midway point.
Mascis redeemed himself at the finale with his one flat-out classic, the newly reissued single Freak Scene. First released in 1988, this jet-engine blast of slacker ennui still sounded fresh, tender and exhilarating. The songÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pivotal verse, in which the croaky singer implores a wayward friend to stay loyal despite his overwhelming uselessness, became a roaring singalong chorus. It was all oddly touching, a Friends Reunited moment for recovering 1980s indie kids.
For an encore the band dusted off their affectionate assault on the CureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Just Like Heaven. Then Mascis really opened the floodgates with his interminable guitar solo for Mountain Man, which was still sandblasting the venue walls as a sated, slightly dazed audience headed for the exits.June 11, 2005 at 9:20 am #110160
FlyingCloudParticipantQuote:interminable guitar solo …, which was still sandblasting the venue walls…
cool find, quite a good review
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