2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Eclectic, interesting, raw, and not nearly as embryonic as history has treated it,
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.