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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 July 2011
Dinosaur Jr's Master of Puppets or Number of the Beast, Bug is however a typically under-the-radar album of alternative 'pre-grunge' that has become the pinnacle of fan adoration together with You're Living All Over Me. And rightly so as there are no bad tracks and everything here is played with style and technical nous but has a youthful edge that made them the band everyone liked that nobody else had heard of.

Highlights are the classic 'Freak Scene' (still one of the best things they've done), 'Yeah We Know' (a technical masterpiece and almost heavy metal), 'Let It Ride' (what was to become a template for meat-and-potatoes DJ tracks), 'Pond Song' (awesome chorus) and 'The Post' (awesomer chorus - in a very singalongy kind of way). And it ends in true indie style with a shouty mess of a song that's all noisy and completely perfect, if not much of a song at all really.

If you have an interest in alternative rock or are interested to know where grunge (REAL grunge) came from, then you really must look no further than this band and this album.
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on 11 October 2000
It's a shame, maybe even a disgrace to person or persons unknown, that this record isn't more widely available. But then if you plough your own furrow, refuse to follow trends or project an image, disappear for years between records and prove unable to keep a band together, that sort of thing tends to happen.
The career of J Mascis, the man who is Dinosaur Jr, has included playing - briefly - with notorious excrement-throwing dead junkie shock-rocker GG Allin, and refusing to STOP playing on TFI Friday (they just ran the ads over his guitar solo in the end). He's also made a few sterling country-grunge albums, and one heartstoppingly beautiful country-grunge album: 'Bug'.
If Neil Young is the godfather of grunge, J is the man who gave the baby its godfather's address. He has the vocal twang, the guitar twang, the hopeless romantic heartstring twang that Young unwittingly bequeathed to a generation of slackers. He also has Hendrix's pedals, Steve Jones's venom, and every stoned teenager's chagrin at the way things just fail to come together. 'Freak Scene', an indie hit and this album's searing opener, has the lot. On every subsequent track J turns it up another notch - the melancholy, the wah-wah - until the final track, 'Don't', a double barrage of twisted guitars with the line 'Why don't you like me?' barked, screamed and whined repeatedly for five minutes or so.
I don't know why 'Bug' isn't in the shops, why it isn't in top tens, why it isn't the constant companion of the love-lorn and world-weary - at least those of them with a sense of humour. There may be sound musical historical reasons; perhaps 'Bug' was just out on its own, before Young's total rehabilitation and the onset of Nirvana, too far away from the urban artsiness of Sonic Youth, too dewy-eyed for the Amphetamine Reptile crew who dominated underground American rock at the time, too American to break into the burgeoning shoe-gazing scene in the UK.
And I don't really care, because I still have my copy of 'Bug' - nine absolute gems, the highlight probably being the second half of 'They Always Come', when the track segues from Ramones-like garage punk into a soaring psychedelic groove, yearning but ultimately resigned. No, after all I don't care whether anyone else has this. I think I'd rather keep it all for myself.
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on 15 April 2001
Dinosaur Jr is a post-punk band from USA . After Sex Pistols and following punk music success, and popularity in USA , there were bands such as Sonic Youth , Hüsker Dü , Flipper , Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. As soon as they were seen on the stage, we called them 80's post-punk or alternative bands . These were the bands that contributed to the grunge explosion in 90's . Following the supernova succes of Nevermind in 90's, many band like Nirvana , Soundgarden , Pearl Jam , Screaming Trees admitted that they were all influenced by those post-punk bands, and Dinosaur Jr is one of those bands . So Bug is the third album of Dinosaur Jr and one of the best . I can say that Freak Scene ( the first song of Bug ) is like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" of 80's but not a populer one . The sound of Bug seems like Nirvana and Afghan Whigs . Greg Dulli's ( Afghan Whigs' singer ) voice is very similar to J Mascis'( Dinosaur Jr singer ) voice, I think Dulli is inspired by J Mascis.If you like this album, you can also buy their second album called "You Are Living All Over Me, but you better hurry up because Bug is almost out of stock ...
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VINE VOICEon 3 October 2007
This album recalls the glory days when alternative/underground music really was that. You felt as if you were in on the secret and the rest of the world didn't have a clue. That a record this good, this exciting, this much fun, could exist and yet not touch, or conversely, be contaminated by, the 'mainstream' was part of its appeal.
Perhaps the most interesting thing that this album did was overthrow the critical wisdom of the day by proving you could rock out without sacrificing your integrity.

'Freak Scene' is great but 'Let it Ride' is just as good, and although "You're Living All Over Me" is now touted as the definitive 'classic DJnr album', I've always preferred this myself. Don't agonise, just get it.
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on 17 June 2011
Just as the review before says "No, after all I don't care whether anyone else has this. I think I'd rather keep it all for myself". - I really know what you mean.
I've never been able to fully put my finger on what happens when you hear something that resonates with who you are. I dunno - kindred spirits I think it's called, but it's an understanding that doesn't need words or anything - it's like finding people that you want to stand next to in a world of people that you don't.
Dinosaur Jr.
Their music to me is a personal thing, and I think I also want to keep it all for myself because I'd go further than "I don't care whether anyone else has this". For me it's more like 'I don't WANT anyone else to have this. This is mine'.
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on 27 December 2003
WOW! this album is (in my opinion) another masterpiece!!!
a band who also helped pave the way for the latter 'grunge' scenc,dinosaur jr have had a big impact on me,i think their music is like no other music,and that j's voice is soooo kool,and he's one hell of a guitar player to,and yes like the guy says above 'freak scene' was the smells like teen spirit of it's day in the early underground day's,but this album no doubt is a great one,It takes you on a journey where you havent been before,it took me there,and im still there. :)
i'd say to all you guy's out there,if you havnt heard this band before,this is the album to start off with.
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on 18 July 2001
This has to be my favourite Dino album, the music is burned into my mind. It is piled deep in sludge and has great tunes. Pretty miserable but immensley comforting, the lyrics are a great brooding mass of confusion and the music is an unstoppable wall of pure noise-force that scoops out the contents of yr skull and leaves you wasted. This album has "Freakscene" on it which is one of Dino's most famous tunes other highlights are the whole of the 1st side esp. "Yeah we know" and also "Budge" which will batter you with its driving chorus (or is it the verse? who cares?) Get hold of a copy and feel it. Man.
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on 2 June 2016
I cant say how this music moves me. Its profound stuff. I suppose its because im a failure in life and this album is a soulmate who consoles me. Its saying something inarticulate and beautiful about being a loser. Every song on Bug is truly great and i totally understand why people love this album so much. I dont think im wrong to say this is the greatest album ever made
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2005
Back at the end of the 80,s label "Blast First" had a roster of brilliant bands: Big Black, The Butthole Surfers, Head of David and then there was Dinosaur Jr. Released in 1988, Bug was their first album for the label, their previous the superb "You're Living All Over Me" was on S.S.T. Unlike the nihilistic Big Black, and the conventional hardcore metallisms of Head of David, Dinosaur Jr with J Mascis, s lethargic drawling vocal style were forerunners for the grunge/slacker scene of the early 90.s. Bug could have broken huge like "Nevermind", but maybe the time was wrong and they lacked Cobains ear for disillusioned anthems and the gnawing hairball of fury that drove Cobain on. Mascis couldn't be bothered man; he drove interviewers wild with his monosyballic torpor and mumbled indolence.
Thankfully the music is much more forthcoming and eloquent." Freak Scene" should have been huge like "Teen Spirit". Like that song it still sounds fresh and relevant today. It's a loser's anthem and society will always create those. It could also be viewed as a comment on the fracturing relationship between Mascis and Lou Barlow (Who left after Bug to form Sebadoh) Whatever way you interpret it, Freak Scene is the definitive tired lament of a generation that can't be bothered, told in the guise of a failing relationship with Mascis and concluding that everything's "A mess/ Best just to leave it". The guitars blaze amid the spiralling solo at the songs heart which probably Mascis is finding his true voice.
In truth the rest of the album is unable to match this song in intensity and stylistically the albums limited and at times dour in its six stringed mewling frenzy. "Budge", though is a tremendous short sharp blast of strident scorching fury. "Pond Song" is like R.E.M. around "Reckoning" with added flayed strips of rough edge guitar "Yeah We Know" breathes through it's choppy chord structure and peals of wah wah. "How did we ever get together?" Mascis moans as the songs pirouetting solo ignites. Most remarkable is the final track "Don't", a five minute tour de force of shrieking feedback and rib popping distortion. Barlow screaming repeatedly "Why don't you like me?" and sounding like the demon in "The Exorcist". I dunno Lou maybe she was into Tallulah Gosh and found all this noisy stuff a bit too much. Or maybe he's talking to Mascis?
While never an all out classic-it lacks variation and one or two tracks are bog standard blithe rock - this is still an under acknowledged album , paving the way along with bands like The Pixies for the explosion of the early 90.s. Whether that was entirely a good thing is another debate but this definitely one Bug you need to catch, at least once.
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on 5 January 2017
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