The new Dinosaur Jr. will melt your face

The dudes from Dinosaur Jr. have nothing much left to prove to anyone other than themselves. They’re already accepted as indie legends, widely acknowledged as having laid the groundwork for 1990s alt-rock. At this point in the band’s career, any new music seems a bit like playing with fire—with they original lineup back together after over 15 years, it would be a shame to taint the legacy of those ’80s classics. But after the awesomeness that was 2007′s Beyond, there’s good reason to be optimistic about new material from Dinosaur Jr.

Thankfully, the trio’s latest, Farm, does not disappoint. Its twelve songs are fuzzy and loud, never letting up over the album’s hour-long runtime. But despite the noise rock assault, the group’s music is inherently passive; this is mainly due to singer J Mascis, whose lazy vocal delivery once made him a touchstone for the ’90s slacker ethos.

Thankfully, this laziness doesn’t translate sloppy songwriting, since the group’s knack for melody is as sharp as ever. “Plans” is the album stand-out, a hazy fuzz rocker with an oblique-but-affecting refrain of “I got nothing left to be / Do you have some plans for me?” Lead single “I Want You to Know” is about the closest the album ever gets to sounding upbeat, with swaggering powerchords and so many hooks, you’ll hardly know which part to call the chorus.

MP3: “I Want You to Know”

As well as packing the songs with memorable melodies, J Mascis fully embraces his inner guitar hero on Farm. “I Don’t Wanna Go There” is nearly nine minutes long, and over half of its runtime is taken up by an epic guitar solo—with a perfect balance of melody and face-melting shreds, it’s some of the best guitar playing I’ve heard in years. Forget your concerns about preserving Dinosaur Jr. in its historical moment—this is a record to crank up in your basement while you hang out with friends, drinking beers and exchanging the odd “Dude, this rocks.”

Farm is due out on June 23 via Jagjaguwar.
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