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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Bug

Dinosaur Jr.

1988

Buy At Rough Trade
Bug
Album Summary

Bug is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr., released in October 1988 through SST Records. Blast First and Au Go Go Records released the album in the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively. It was the last Dinosaur Jr. album with original bassist Lou Barlow until Beyond in 2007. Despite it being a favorite of many Dinosaur Jr. fans, J Mascis has said it is his least favorite Dinosaur Jr. album. The version of 'Keep The Glove' included on the 2005 reissue is not the same as the version on the b-side of the 'Freakscene' single or the 'Fossils' compilation. NME critic Jack Barron deemed Bug "the most comprehensive rock statement of the year so far" in a 1988 review for the magazine, noting Dinosaur Jr.'s predominantly "torpid" approach and commenting that the music "trepidates everyday reality away", while rating the album "8.999999" on a ten-point scale.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.91

Votes

9661
Genres
Indie
Rock
Grunge

Reviews

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Fri Aug 20 2021
2

In the genre list on Wikipedia, it lists noise rock. And that it is. Just noise. This album sounds like the singer is crying over loud and annoying instrumentals.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
2

They sound like a bad high school band. I like “sloppy” punk rock - but only when it’s intentional. This seems like just poor execution of mediocre songs.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
2

Noise rock and out of key vocals. Dissonance isn't my thing, I guess. Less rock, more cringe for me.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
2

The album was not that good and progressively got worse.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
1

Consistently sloppy with a particularly abrasive end.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

This is one of those times when my rating is probably going to be more generous than is warranted. J Mascis sometimes seems to have trouble carrying a tune, unless that's an affectation. Who knows? The hit of the album, Freak Scene, is so simple, there is almost nothing to it. But honestly, this album hits my critical blind spot. I enjoy the casual nature of Mascis' vocals--it doesn't sound like he's trying to convince you of anything--he's just sharing his thoughts. And I find his blend of noise, rock, and pop appealing. The music on Bug rocks, it has plenty of texture, and it has a warmth that is missing from a band like Sonic Youth. And a funny thing--Mascis also makes me appreciate Neil Young a little more. Mascis has taken Young's blundering experiments with guitar noise and refined them almost beyond recognition. Like Young, Mascis doesn't have a lot of technical ability, but unlike Young, he's very talented at coaxing out a wide palette of sounds from his guitar. It's also pretty clear that Mascis also served as inspiration (along with Young) for Built To Spill's Doug Marsch, another wonderful guitarist. Guys like Mascis and Doug Marsch make the pioneering nature of Neil Young's experiments with noise obvious, even if they kind of sucked (sorry, Brian). In that way, Young's a little like Lou Reed, in that he's inspired a ton of wonderful music. But I'm getting sidetracked. I'm 90% through Bug and beneath all the noise, it turns out that the songwriting is actually pretty sturdy. I've also got to put in a good word for the band, which matches the ferocity of Mascis' guitar work. How to rate? Well, occasionally, the noise elements are overwhelming, but overall, Bug is surprisingly strong and consistent.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
2

There's something just not right about late 80s alternative rock that doesn't come from Seattle. It's like while Nirvana and Mudhoney were based on punk, and Soundgarden/AIC metal, bands like this were rooted in whiny, jangly, shoegazey, cynical "nothing fucking matters anyway" garage nerd rock. It has its moments where it almost rocks, but still has that distinctly "not Seattle indie" vibe. I think the core problem is it hates itself, but can't channel it well. It's like a depressed kid's assignment. 2/5.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

Seen enough to eye you But I've seen to much to try you It's always weirdness while you Dig it much too much to fry you The weirdness flows between us Anyone can tell to see us Freak scene just can't believe us Why can't it just be cool and free us? Seen enough to eye you But I've seen to much to try you It's always weirdness while you Dig it much too much to fry you The weirdness flows between us Anyone can tell to see us Freak scene just can't believe us Why can't it just be cool and leave us? It's so fucked I can't believe it If there's a way I wish we'd see it How could it work just can't conceive it Oh what a mess it's just to leave it Sometimes I don't thrill you Sometimes I think I'll kill you Just don't let me fuck up will you 'cause when I need a friend it's still you What a mess

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Dinosaur Jr. were buddies with all my favourite bands growing up (Sonic Youth wrote ‘Teenage Riot’ about J Mascis) but I was never really a big fan of J Mascis’s voice back in the day. I found it a bit too whiny for my tastes. However, I stumbled across one of his solo albums about five years ago and it became my surprise album of the year. I’d not gone back to the Dinosaur stuff until now though. I enjoyed this album far more listening back to it with a bit of distance and also feeling like I can appreciate his voice a bit more after listening to his solo stuff. More variation than I’d remembered too. On a slightly related note, I used to play bass (badly) in a band a few years back and we would end each gig with a different cover. By chance, the last song at the last gig we ever played was ‘Freakscene’ by Dinosaur Jr. so, as fate would have it, it’s a song from this album that will ring forever in the ears of the tiny handful of friends and relatives who were present. For that reason, I’m bumping this up from a three and a half to a four.

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Thu Nov 16 2023
1

didn't enjoy this, it just sounded like noise to me

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Mon Sep 25 2023
5

"Bug" is the third studio album by Massachusetts alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr. Alternative rock, indie rock and indie rock are the named genres. It was the last album with bassist Lou Barlow until he came back to the band in 2007. Besides Barlow, other members of Dinosaur Jr. include lead singer/guitarist J Mascus and drummer Murph. The album received critical acclaim including a most interesting 8.9999999 rating out of 10 by NME. A melodic guitar and then bam! The bass and guitar kick in and they're soaring with "Freak Scene." The song ebbs and flows with soft and loud dynamics. Two monster guitar solos by Mascis harkening Neil Young meets Sonic Youth meets Bob Mould. You do hear a lot of monster solos throughout this album. Mascis' vocals define "slacker" rock. I think this is simply about two friends who don't want a romantic relationship since it will ruin their current friendship. "No Bones" features some real melodic bass by Barlow. This is slower but again speeds up in spots. Distorted guitar. "They Always Come" brings the punk. This fast and hard. Some more fantastic bass and drumming along with Mascis' distorted and feedback-riddled guitar. "Let It Ride" continues the fast and hard. You got to like the intensity these guys bring. And we get a bass solo along with a few guitar ones. They slow it up a bit on "Pond Song" and add an acoustic and layered guitars. Great drumming. The album ends with a wah-wah guitar going into "Don't." Barlow just screaming likes he's dying "Why Don't You Like Me" for five minutes. This song would not have been out of place on Hüsker Dü's "Zen Arcade." This was a big album for me when it came out. I used to just play the hard/fast songs which seemed to alternate throughout the album. I guess I've mellowed since I found a lot to like in the"so-called" slower songs. I don't know what I was listening to at the time to think those "other'" songs soft? Mascis guitar is just fantastic with his distortion, feedback and multiple solos within each song. One of the other things I realized on this listen was how good the bass and drumming is. This is a band. They need to be to keep up with Mascis. This album and music is connected to the prior music of Neil Young, Hüsker Dü, and Sonic Youth to what the future music would be in shoegaze and grunge. Yes, I like this album and so should you!

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Sun Jun 18 2023
4

Bug is not Dinosaur Jr.'s best, but it has all the hallmarks of the band that would influence 90s alternative and grunge. The overdriven guitars, driving drums, and forceful vocal delivery are all present, along with J Mascis's emphasis on the guitar solo. It's probably closer to a three, but due to the influence of this band and bridging classic and alternative rock, I think a four is in order.

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Sun May 23 2021
1

Eh. Everyone is just annoyed at everything. "Freak Scene" is good. "Pond Song", "Budge" is decent. Mostly noise.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
1

9. Bug - Dinosaur Jr. 10 tracks. Not to my tastes at all. If you like a poor quality Foo Fighters meeting a tone-deaf Nirvana on a bad day with some background White Noise then this is definitely for you. Track 9 is called \"Don't\" which I assume stands for Don't listen 1/5.

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Sat May 13 2023
1

Please. We've been through this. Dino Jr AGAIN?

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Sat May 21 2022
5

Would be nice if the list contains a few more Dinosaur Jr albums, but otherwise this is an excellent choice. One of the best Dinosaur Jr albums: perfect songwriting (Let It Ride, Budge, etc) + perfect guitar playing + perfect sound = 5 *****.

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Fri Jun 16 2023
5

Five stars all the way. It's unfair, I guess, because it's an album I've listened to at least five million times and I love every part of. I remember buying this when I was visiting family in Leeds and they had a Virgin Megastore. It's pretty much calibrated for one side of me. Loud but fragile, often feeling ready to fall apart. It's beautiful. I still skip that last song though!

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Dinosaur Jr.'s album Bug, the last featuring original bassist Lou Barlow (until his reunion with J in the 00s) is a captivating journey into alternative rock. Freak Scene emerges as a masterpiece, setting the stage for the iconic guitar solos that define this record. The band's chemistry is evident, and it's intriguing to learn that Lou thinks they were still figuring things out during the recording. If this is them in the process, it's exciting to imagine what they'll create once fully figured out. J Mascis's guitar work is iconic, adding emotional layers to the album. Bug captures a band pushing boundaries and experimenting with their sound, creating a dynamic musical landscape. NUMBER OF BANGERS - 7 STAND OUT TRACK - Freak Scene

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

Fantastic album! Nobody plays guitar like J Mascis. I love a record that can have a melodic indie pop-like tune like Freak Scene and an equally great angry-emo screamer like Don’t.

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Wed Dec 09 2020
4

Well. How the hell were they supposed to follow up You're Living All Over Us? This isnt as good, but its damn close to a 5.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

good ol' j. mascis. i hadn't realized lou barlow and he started out together - neet!

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Wed May 26 2021
4

This album was fucking good. I need to listen to more Dinosaur Jr.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Loved it. Really raw and melancholic, at times angry, but always with a fun uplifting edge. So glad I've discovered this

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Sun Oct 10 2021
4

Had this one on cassette back when it was new. Freak Scene is one of the best songs of the 80s. The rest of this is good too. I've always had a soft spot for Don't.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
3

Like the last Dinosaur Jr. album the list threw up, I find the overall style/sound agreeable, but it doesn't seem particularly memorable. If it came out 10 years later it certainly wouldn't warrant inclusion on the list, but was it remarkable in 1988? I don't know, though given it's not dissimilar to their 1987 album, probably not. Still, it's a decent album with a nice drawing of a bug on the front. I'll live and let live.

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Thu May 05 2022
5

I am a big fan of this band throughout the many stages of their long career. This is something interesting for anyone who likes rock.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

Još jedan album bez kojeg je nemoguće zamislit devedesete. Skoro bolji od youre living all over me

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

9/10 I’m a fan of indie and hard rock this was a nice fun album almost sounded like a pre-90s grunge

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Great album of a band who brought the lead guitar back to the indie rock forefront, alongside The Pixies

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Sun Feb 12 2023
5

So happy to see my favorite Dino Jr. album popping up here… just them this and album and them as a whole.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

- Sick garage rock sound - Sounds very modern for an 80s record - Immaculate vibes - 4.5- rounded up yolo - Favorite songs: Budge, No Bones, Pond Song

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Thu Mar 30 2023
5

More familiar with the later, Where You Been, which was a seminal CD for me in which I can remember when I first heard it, with who and the apartment we lived in at the time. Great music can take you back that way and keep it preserved there for eternity. Not sure that I had ever heard this one in its entirety but it is wonderful in the same way. I’ve always thought sometimes too much Dinosaur Jr. all at once is more than most people can handle. I’m sure in my consecutive plays if Where You Been, I could shut it down after two songs. DJr. can pack a lot into two songs.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

Between pavement and Nirvana, between lo-fi Blur and At the drive in. Great, tricky to see where it could be improved. Slightly odd to read that the band didn't really like it

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

This one was GREAT!!! Added.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
5

I really dug this, cracking alt rock album. I know it's 80s but it has that early 90s proto-grunge feel to it. Great stuff

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

Heck yeah. Dinosaur Jr is great. I saw them at a Lollapalooza in '93 and again in '17 with my son. They've been a favourite for a long time. For me this album is about 4th or 5th best of theirs. But I really like most of their albums. I really like J's solo stuff too.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

9/10. I liked this a lot better than the other Dino Jr album we've had

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

I really like Dinosaur Jr. and this is one of their best albums. Really good stuff and I was glad to listen to it again!

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

Noisy indie rock. I'd never gone deep on Dinosaur Jr. I really liked this album.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

I love this band. This is one of there best albums too, more straightforward rock than the previous albums but still a lotta noise. So happy to see it on the list.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

This is a strong album from Dinosaur Jr. displaying everything that makes their sound unique: the noisy guitars in which you can drown, that come in contrast with nonchalant vocals from J Mascis and his insane solos. These guys seems to be totally laid back but they're actually technically quite good, but with no show off, they're just doing it casually. More than 35 years later, it does not sound out-dated.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

Love this album and the contrasts from songs like Freak Scene and Don’t

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

One of my favorite albums of all time. So happy to see it on the list. Great rock album

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

Never really listened to Dinosaur Jr. but this is an excellent rock album.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

Know it, love it. Like a more tender and vulnerable sounding Sonic Youth in a way. Just a warm and lovely listen IMHO.

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Sun Jan 10 2021
4

Dinpsaur Jr. - одна из влиятельнейших групп в истории инди-рока. Они взяли нойз-рок и хард-рок 70-х и добавили туда мелодичности и тяжелые гитарные соло, будто вылетающие из горящих энтузиазмом рук музыканта. Не как на дебюте The Jesus And Mary Chain, более гранжево и энергично. Рассматривая именно этот альбом нельзя сказать, что он сильно отличается от You're Living All Over Me (по крайней мере в музыкальном плане). Здесь можно заметить многие приемы предыдущего, но использованы они здесь менее выразительно, чем на предшественнике. Особенно хотелось бы выделить трек "Don't". Он крайне выделяется на фоне всего альбома из-за переполняющей его грязи. Его нахождение в треклисте вызывает удивление скорее негативное, чем восхваляющее разнообразие, но тут момент спорный. Обобщая все выше сказанное, могу сказать одно: Определенно, этот альбом хорош, но знакомится с ним следует только если вам понравился You're Living All Over Me, места в списке он не стоит, это не мастерпис и даже не близко. 7.5/10

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Dinosaur Jr:aa, hyvässä ja pahassa. Pidän kovasti bändin levyjen äänimaailmasta, mutta toisaalta biisit eivät juurikaan eroa toisistaan tai jää mieleen samankaltaisen kitaramuurin takia. Nämä vanhemmat bändin levyt ovat itselleni hieman uusia vieraampia, mutta ihan samaltahan tämä kuulostaa kuin 30v myöhemminkin. Kolmosen ja nelosen välimaastossa keikutaan, mutta vertaamalla tätä muihin viime aikoina antamiini kolmosiin on pakko tehdä pyöristys ylöspäin.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Real nice low fi dad rock, hits nice and hard at points. Verging on fat riffs if it wasn't for all the fuzz (not a bad thing). The Post is an absolute track but Don't can probably calm down a bit

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Otra de esas bandas de las que únicamente había oído el nombre pero nunca el disco. Fuera de "Don't", que está un poco intragable, el resto del disco me gustó mucho: los riffs y solos de guitarra están divertidos y aunque podría ser considerado "noise" no deja de ser armónico y cada canción tiene su estructura y su propio sonido.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

progressively screamier. the penultimate song scared the shit out of me. but still some good stuff 3.5

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

I mostly liked it! Adding to my collection.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Ihan okei rokkia. Tuntui freesimmältä kuin ZZ Topit jne., mutta ei kuitenkaan ihan keveintä mahdollista höttöä. Tämän voisi kuvitella jonnekin Szigetiin tai muualle lämpimään kesäfestari-iltaan. Hyvää fiilistä, mutta ei erityisen mieleen painuvaa. 3.5 pyöristyy neloseen.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

High school Dani would have loved this band. Kinda punk, emo, but great guitar and melodies; the change in tempo, even going to 2/3 (which very much reminds me of Brand New). I can't put my finger on who was influenced by this band, but I think a lot of my formative music years had been listening to these guys. Maybe a bit of Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, Nirvana, Radiohead...

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

I can’t place who this sounds like, but very reminiscent of other bands that were popular among my circle in the early-mid 2000s. I wish I had known about them during my vaguely emo teen years!

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Sat May 01 2021
4

Really enjoyed this album! Was kinda surprised by how much I enjoyed it actually!

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Mon Apr 19 2021
4

I don't know how I missed this band in the 80's - they are from my home state and were popular in my college years; I heard their name a lot but didn't listen to them - so I'm glad I heard this. Hard-driving and thrashy, so not my usual listening fare, and really solid.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

not usually my style but this album is pretty solid

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

Nice rocking little album. Not the dinosaur Jr i remember. Until the last song.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

Weird but cool to hear a wah pedal in a grunge type setting but it works. Raw emotion and an imperfect mix is refreshing to hear compared to today's over produced stuff.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Don't needs to calm down a bit. :)

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Thu Sep 23 2021
4

Melodic punk. Very enjoyable after the first song.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

This album had some bangers, definitely ahead of its time with its sound. The vocals weren't my cup of tea, but the instrumentation and progressions were really cool. Enjoyable listen (besides Don't). Favourite Tracks: No Bones, They Always Come, Yeah We Know

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Solid, eclectic, had some bangers, quite enjoyed the album

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Redelijk experimenteel. Misschien soms ietsje teveel

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Sun Dec 19 2021
4

Just flat enjoyed a lot of this. Very early alternative...sounds like Local H 10 years earlier.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
4

Rentre chez toi, Cobain! Prefs: FREAK SCENE, Let It Ride, Pond Song, Budge Moins pref: Don't

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Is it punk? Is it grunge? Is it metal? Yes. Yes it is, and it is great.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

I liked the sound but it didn't feel novel. Felt like a superchunk album. Or maybe wilco? Or maybe something else? But I think the sound is novel for the time so... 4 stars.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

I'm going on the higher side of 3.5 on this one, but it might be because I'm a sucker for noisy, slacker rock with some poppier moments. I can see how Built to Spill and Dinosaur Jr. (and the Pixies) are listed together as important bands of this era. Freak Scene is simple, but a banger.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

Not having a lot of exposure to Dinosaur Jr I wasn't sure what to expect with this album so I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! This is a really good album and I can see it's influence on Alt Rock moving forward and also on some Grunge Music, Pond Song (Neil Yong), and a hint of Pavement. The album features great guitar work and drumming which are brought out by the clean production. Lyrically the album seems a bit weak, and repetitive, but that seems to work out okay as the focus seems to be more on the music and less on the vocals on this particular album. The one song on here that I had a tough time getting through was Don't, the screaming gets a bit much and drones on. Other than that really good album and it opens me up to listening to more Dinosaur Jr work. Favorite Songs: Freak Song, Pond Song, Yeah We Know. I give this one a 3.5 - 4.

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

For 88 this is pretty good stuff considering how much I dislike hairbands. A band before their time

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Sat May 21 2022
4

I was struggling with the vocals at times, but the guitar tones are great. Strong album.

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Fri May 27 2022
4

Freak Scene brilliant song, rest of the album good, but really found the song don’t hard to listen to.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

I think this is a solid followup to their earlier masterpiece; it still delivers that amazing sound, even if it doesn't reach quite the heights of You're Living All Over Me.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

Slightly heart over head rating this, but I really enjoyed it.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

Way cooler than the last Dinosuar Jr we saw. Feels cool alt rock / punk with some nice growls. I can dig it.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
4

J Mascis did a good job on this one. Definitely a classic indie record, and for good reason. Favorite track: They Always Come.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
4

reminds me of my childhood. 90's grunge, Nirvana and Fugazi. I love how sounds take me back. It's also amazing how the 90's created the space for average singers to excel in the grunge space.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Watch the movie Singles this week, so I was definitely in the mood for some Grunge

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

One of the more notable ”slacker rock” bands. Although, with guitar playing such as this you could hardly call them slackers

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Mon Oct 10 2022
4

Definitely worth a revisit. Not my fav DJ album, but great.

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Sun Oct 30 2022
4

Few bands hit me in quite the same way as Dinosaur Jr. As noisy, screeching and hysterical as it may be - the amazingly tumultuous “Don’t” being the prime example - there’s always raw emotions and a feeling of honesty hiding just beneath the surface; most often in the form of Mascis’ delicate and bare vocal and brutally beautiful guitar. While I love their older material there’s a special vibe about their post-reunion albums that isn’t quite present here. Maybe it’s because they matured along the way or maybe it’s the heavier focus on their punk aesthetic on the early records? I nevertheless enjoy the ride every bit of the way!

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

Great noise/alternative rock. Do I hear a bit of early emo/pop punk on here?

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