MAGNET’s #10 Album Of 2016: Dinosaur Jr’s “Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not”

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Consider, if you will, two bands from Massachusetts that formed in the mid-’80s, broke up for more than a decade, reunited and began releasing new music in the aughts. One of these groups has grown more vital, even louder with time, while the other has shown steady, middle-aged decline. What accounts for this? Perhaps it’s the fact that the best Pixies music was so tied to Black Francis’ youthful, unhinged shriek, now significantly diminished with age. Meanwhile, J Mascis’ creaky Dylan-meets-Young affect has been immune to the ravages of time. Perhaps you can point to the Pixies losing Kim Deal, while Dinosaur Jr’s original rhythm section of Murph and Barlow remains a formidable, tightly coupled force. Of course, having an idiot-savant guitar god in your band doesn’t hurt either. One is reminded that former guitar deity Eric Clapton descended into milquetoast-y irrelevance in his 50s, while Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not still hears Mascis as a purveyor of fireworks displays that would put the Zambellis to shame. In short, on its 11th LP, Dinosaur Jr does what it has done best for the past 30-plus years, which is to remind us of the life-giving force of guitar, bass, drums and scary-big stack of Marshall amps.

—Matt Ryan