Thursday, 2 July 2009

Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

Let's talk Neil Young for a moment. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm a big Neil fan. I've been listening to him for years; he's one of the great songwriters still doing the rounds today. My favourite Neil albums are 'On The Beach', 'Tonight's The Night' and probably 'Ragged Glory' - I'm that sort of Neil Young fan. On these albums I think he nailed the country-rock-played-in-a-barn sound brilliantly and he attacks his songs in a way you wouldn't if you were someone who wanted to be liked by the folk-rock crowd. He doesn't give a damn what the listener thinks of his music and will happily let you know via a lengthy, unnecessary guitar jam or a string of dire, unlistenable albums.

The reason I bring Neil Young into this post is that I think Dinosaur Jr.'s new record is the album Neil and his band Crazy Horse should be releasing this year. The sad fact is I don't think he could or is interested in playing such music these days. 'Farm', the second record Dinosaur Jr. have released since their reformation a couple of years ago is far too loud, ballsy and tuneful for 63 year old Neil to have written (I'm really sorry man).

Dinosaur Jr. sound quite a bit like Crazy Horse playing garage rock; 'Farm' is played incredibly loud and distorted, each instrument struggling to be heard amongst the din and often resembles the clunky style of Neil's band. They sound unhinged and singer and guitarist J Mascis' typically slacker songs get dragged along by the driving rhythm section. Mascis differs from Neil Young in that he's a flashier guitarist and a lazier singer yet their approach to songwriting and influences are similar. Mascis makes singing sound like a struggle, mumbling most of his words and rarely straying from his comfortable singing range. I'm making it sound like it's a bad thing but within the context of his songs, Mascis' style really works well.

Check out 'Over It', the first single from the album. I've never seen the famously lazy Mascis move so much! 'Pieces' is the opening track, pretty rad. And if you don't know this one, quickly listen to it and get smart.

'Farm' was released last Monday on June 22nd. Go get it!

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