Dinosaur Jr.'s first three albums 'Dinosaur,' 'You're Living All Over Me' and 'Bug ' were all previously released by the Homestead and SST labels. The CDs have been remastered and include a smattering of bonus tracks and rare photos. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Mike Watt and Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard contributed to new liner notes. Merge. 2005.
When Dinosaurs first record was released in 1985, it didnt make much of a stir. This is understandable, and not because the album is a bit of a sprawling mess, because its a pretty great sprawling mess. Its simply that much of the point of punk had been to "cut out the guitar solos," to quote the Minutemen. Punk rock was in a strange morphing phase in the mid '80s, and, with the exception of Meat Puppets and Ottos Chemical Lounge, few folks had thought to graft the laconic and woozy sounds of mid '70s rock with the frenetic energy of hardcore (guitarist/ singer J. Mascis had played drums amazingly well in the band Deep Wound). When the label released the albums best song, the frazzled and distorted "Repulsion," as a single, they started to get college radio play. The bands far more cohesive followup, '87s phenomenal Youre Living All Over Me, would prove to be a major blueprint for alt-rock and grunge. Dont overlook this debut; the slacker-y, adolescent ode "Severed Lips" might be J.s finest slow jam ever, and when you hear Lou Barlow sing lead on "Forget the Swan," youll really wish the two had gotten along better and collaborated more. --Mike McGonigal