DINOSAUR JR: Sweep It into Space: LP

I’m ashamed to say that as an early forty-something-year-old man, I only got into Dinosaur Jr. (DJ) in the past ten years. They’ve been around since the mid-’80s but by the time I started getting into punk, hardcore, and indie rock in the mid-’90s DJ become ensconced in my mind as a band for pot-smoking slackers. Unfortunately, my high school naïveté kept me from finding a band that has since intertwined itself with my emotional state for the past decade. DJ albums, especially since their reunion in the 2000s, are a mix of somberness, desire, and satisfaction. Or, as a friend once said, “They’re ’90s college rock mixed with ’80s hair metal guitar solos.” Wherever you fall on the DJ fan-spectrum, their latest album, Sweep It into Space continues that emotional tug of war. Some songs have fun, upbeat music that can mix melancholy lyrics, such as the opener, “I Ain’t.” “Take It Back” is an anomaly in the DJ catalog. It’s a piano and keyboard number that’s poppy and fun. It may be different for the band but it works due to its roots in classic DJ sound. Lou Barlow chimes in with his usual two tracks, including “Garden,” which builds and breaks with waves of hope and goosebump-giving vocals. We often find music ties into a particular time period in our lives and for me, DJ has been a wonderful soundtrack for the years I’ve been living in Massachusetts, their home state. I always appreciate and find that connection with each album, whether it be through J Mascis’s amazing guitar solos, Murph’s strong drumming, or Lou’s energetic bass playing. Sweep It into Space is another solid album in the DJ catalog. –Kurt Morris (Jagjaguwar)