Dinosaur Jr.

Beyond (Fat Possum)

Phases & Stages

Dinosaur Jr.

Beyond (Fat Possum)

A rather ripped Van Winkle moment has arrived for Lou Barlow and company, who last recorded as Dinosaur Jr. in 1989. Even listeners too old to judge a 50-minute CD by its cover will find something enthralling in that figure on the couch being sucked under the cushions. The leadoff chorus from "Almost Ready" makes it clear that after years of wandering the desert, Dino Jr. has nothing to apologize for. Ditto for the sublime riffs off the grunge ballad "We're Not Alone." Meanwhile, the full-throated roar of J. Mascis' guitar and the driving backbeats laid by Murph, a drummer who's always deserved more respect, retain the gravity of the La Brea Tar Pits. For unreconstructed rockists, the title of track six tells you everything you need to know about the band's reunion fever: "Been There All the Time." Apparently evolution is overrated.

***

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