Daily Archives: January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

It was a year ago today that I embarked upon this hare-brained scheme. 242 reviews later I am still going and still relishing each opportunity to listen to and reflect upon each album in my collection.

I haven’t quite delivered on my promise of “one a day”. It’s more like 0.66 a day, or 2 every 3. I will endeavour to lift my game in the coming year. If I get to 600 by year end that’ll be a great outcome.

I have been shocked by how many people pop past my neck of the Interweb. Here’s a graph of the site visits from month to month over the year. As you can see it is has really built up a solid head of steam (although I am aware a considerable portion are just folks chasing album covers – hopefully some of them/you stick around).

Thank you to everyone who reads this, and especially to those of you who choose to share your thoughts on my reviews, my shortcomings, the gaps in the collection etc. The interaction is one of the big rewards from this exercise. OK, back to the reviews now.

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’!