Dinosaur Jr. - The Arches, Glasgow, Wed 30 Jan
Refreshing reunion from the influential 90s indie stalwarts
Dinosaur Jr. are one of those rare anomalies that seem to defy all logic based on the awe-inspiring precedent that they set at the start of their illustrious career. Not just content with a cash-in reunion tour - like many of their peers - a flurry of recent albums has also sparked a renewed interest in the 90s indie heroes. While the original line-up peaked on seminal 1988 album Bug, the Massachusetts outfit slowly began to dissolve as bassist Lou Barlow moved on to pastures new - with the lo-fi attitude of Sebadoh and punk nihilism of Folk Implosion. Throughout their major label honeymoon period the band inevitably began to limp towards the latter stages of the 90s and called it quits before entering a post-grunge graveyard where good men died like dogs and Nickelback began to plague the airwaves.
Fast forward ten years and the caterwaul of J Mascis's Fender Jaguar sounds as refreshing as ever on their latest album I Bet On Sky. Tonight at The Arches proves to be no exception as the original line-up of J, Murph and Lou take to the stage on the first night of a UK tour. The sold-out crowd are treated to the melodic delights of new tracks 'Watch the Corners' and 'Don't Pretend You Didn't Know' early in the set while J's surrounding wall of Marshall stacks steps up a gear on fan favourites 'Feel The Pain' and 'Start Choppin'. Their 90-minute set scales its climatic heights on the blistering 'Freakscene' before an encore which features a gnarly rendition of The Cure's 'Just Like Heaven' - cue inimitable solos and a slew of guitar wizardry to compliment the silver locks of frontman Mascis - while rounding off the evening with their trademark lo-fi slacker vibe on 'Sludgefeast'.