Dinosaur Jr.’s therapist should step forward and accept some hearty congratulations. This is a band whose early camaraderie had so deteriorated by the late 80s that they were literally beating each other up on stage. When bassist Lou Barlow left to focus his efforts on his other band, Sebadoh, he made no secret about his dislike for his former band mate, frontman J Mascis (see: the Sebadoh tune “The Freed Pig”). Mascis had also alienated Dino Jr.’s original drummer, Murph, by insisting that he should play drum parts that Mascis had written rather than letting Murph play in his own style.
So when the band’s original lineup reformed in 2005 there was obvious enthusiasm tempered with a resigned no-way-this’ll-last skepticism. Yet here we are, seven years into Dinosaur Jr. v.2, and they’re still cranking out excellent music, including their third post-reunion album I Bet On Sky. It’s instantly recognizable as a Dinosaur Jr. album; the classic rock-meets-Black Sabbath-meets-Crazy Horse guitars and Mascis’ mopey, disinterested vocals are all present and accounted for. But small flourishes creep up to keep things interesting.