242. Dinosaur Jr – “Bug”

Given the next Ani DiFranco album is another double, I’m skipping forward and grabbing one of the older and well-worn records in my collection.

I would have heard the Freak Scene single off this album in 1988 some time, and eventually found a vinyl copy of the associated album (this was before I owned a CD player).

I then spent many days immersed in the contrasting waves of screaming guitar and typically lazy/cosy vocals. This was when I really saw what guitar-based indie rock could be.

It has been a pleasure to dive back into this. Freak Scene is as catchy as ever, with J Mascis’ drawled vocals chronicling the slacker ethos beautifully.

The guitar work on this album was and is revelatory. If future humans (or aliens) want to know what could be done with those strange devices (and in particular the associated pedals) this album would be a great insight and showcase.

I saw a quote from the band noting that they were fans of death metal and the mid-80s Paisley Rock scene. That sums the sound up perfectly. The guitars wail and jangle in equal measure. Lou Barlow screams his lungs out on the closer (Don’t), yet at other times the vocals are classic indie-op (reminiscent of Smudge‘s Tom Morgan).

This is classic stuff that I’m in love with again. Relish this video:



File under: I’m buggin’!

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