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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic, interesting, raw, and not nearly as embryonic as history has treated it, 8 Sept. 2008
By 
D. Hamilton-Smith "dave" (Merrye Olde Engelond) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dinosaur Jr (Audio CD)
The debut offering from Dinosaur Jr (then called simply "Dinosaur") is generally perceived to be an unfocused affair, albeit one which exhibits plenty of potential and includes some genuinely great material in its own right. I tend to agree. The three-piece were very young when they cut this, and it shows in the slightly apprehensive vocal delivery (from both J and Lou) and the muddled production - they seem unsure just what instrument should lead the charge, despite some decent guitar work signalling the future and displaying the talent of the now iconic Mr Mascis.

Despite this, it includes several classic Dinosaur tunes and live favourites and seems to prove that Mascis' songwriting skill arrived fully-formed, if not his instrumental performance. "Repulsion", "Severed Lips" and the brooding "Quest" (with the personality-defining chorus of "Why won't you be my friend?") are all brilliant songs despite the sonic shortcomings of the recording. Other highlights sound more like Lou's contributions, or group efforts at the very least, and "Forget The Swan" comes off as possibly the best track on the record. It's certainly one of the most effective songs in their post-reunion live set, and is usually played with just the confidence and aggression the studio version lacks. Lou's influence can also be heard on "Gargoyle" and "Mountain Man" - both successes, exemplifying the clash of influences in Dinosaur Jr's genetic make-up: hardcore punk's aggressive catchiness, the pure noise of Hendrix-esque wild soloing, and more than a dash of post-punk's angular restraint.

They would do better on their next two releases, both undeniable classics, but "Dinosaur" itself is one of their more interesting records because it still feels like the band that recorded it could go in any number of directions next time out, even though by now we (the fans) know "You're Living All Over Me" inside out.

Also: this remaster includes "Bulbs Of Passion", which is still a Dinosaur Jr live staple to this day, making it a must buy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal but beautiful debut - not to be missed!, 14 Sept. 2006
By 
9ftneil "9ftneil" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dinosaur Jr (Audio CD)
Released back in 1985 this seminal recording is in my opinion Dinosaur Jr/J Mascis finest hour. Nevermind (no pun intended) that it was the glorious precursor to the whole Seattle Sub Pop scene that spawned Nirvana, Mudhoney, Tad, Screaming Trees or the Boston based genius of the Pixies, on this debut outing J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph created the blueprint for the whole

U.S. "alt-rock/grunge" sound that was to dominate both the "pop" charts and indie-rock in the late 80's and early 90's. While there is no doubting the influence and brilliance of the Dino's follow up "You're Living All Over Me" or the splendid slacker/Gen X overkill of "Bug" this is where it all started for the Dino's and the importance of this debut album is pivotal to understanding U.S. alt-rock's transition from hardcore punk to grunge and the multi-platinum success of that movement's greatest luminaries Nirvana. That's not to say that 'Dinosaur' is a proto-Nevermind it's simply too vast a canvas of influences and inspiration to merit that tag. Simply put no other album of its' time had such a sprawling, out of kilter and off the wall range of sound, fury, melody and genius. This remaster gloriously captures the Dino's melange of every truly great "indie" and rock influence of the preceding 20 years - from the blistering speed of Husker Du, the gonzoid booze fueled waywardness of The Replacements, the hardcore fury of Black Flag, the sweeping beauty-as-noise of Sonic Youth, the epic melancholy of The Cure and New Order and right back to the 70's brain shaking riffs of Black Sabbath and the ferocity of Neil Young & Crazy Horse yet possessing all the melodic pop sensiblities of Moby Grape and the Mamas and Papas with a whacked out hint of country-blues - all buried beneath a wall of noise and sludged-out riffing that sounded like nothing on earth. The Dino's created a MONSTER, a truly awesome, epic yet down home and intimate collage of poetic brutalism and heartfelt emotion that they seldom matched again. For all the punk/grunge raging fury these songs are a sophisticated amalgam of teen-angst and existential world weariness and display a fine understanding of melodic pop that was seldom matched until Nirvana's breakthrough 'Nevermind' kicked the arse of a generation - but it all really starts here with this exceptional debut. Rarely has rock music sounded so threatening so raucous and genuinely groundbreaking as on this superb debut. The only downside to this release is a truly atrocious bootleg quality live take of 'Does It Float' as a bonus track - it certainly gives a taste of just what an incendiary live band the early Dino's were but honestly the sound quality is so bad it hardly merits its' inclusion. That being said this is one debut album that ranks amongst the very best and the Dino's would seldom sound so fresh innovative and starlingly original again. Raw unpolished gonzoid rock never sounded so good.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 23 Sept. 2008
By 
M. Hill "Music Master" (Cornwall, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dinosaur Jr (Audio CD)
Raw, rough, mellodic, sludgy, hard, drifter, grunge, fresh, revolutionary and not over produced. If you like all these words, blend them into 1 amazing set of tracks and you have the best grunge album of all time. Every1 knows and likes Nirvana, but this band and album pre-dates them. Baring Mudhoneys debut, this is the best Grunge album of all time. Personally, i am not into the slower, rockier, samey grunge bands such as Pearl Jam. This album is raw, in your face, head banging, leg tapping, musical fusion.

J Mascis's vocals that make you feel some1 out there feels the same way as me. Theres pain somehwere inside. Vocals that are in the same brilliance bracket as Bill Corgan and Kurt Cobain. The rough edged mosh songs of The Leper and Cats in a Bowl are matched with the sublime, drifter, mellodic dreamy track of Severed Lips.

What else can i say, if you like grunge, this album is a must for the collection. I am not talking about those so called grunge fans that tap the surface and have albums so over produced they bore me to tears. This album is for the alternative music lovers that go for the 1st album made by a band that you know nothing about, in search of the youthful, angst and rage that makes them fresh and energetic. Five star
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Dinosaur Jr
Dinosaur Jr by Dinosaur Jr. (Audio CD - 2005)
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