Arriving four years after 2012's I Bet on Sky -- the longest stretch of time between albums since Dinosaur Jr. became an active band again in 2007 -- Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't offer any surface surprises, at least not along the lines of the roaring reunion of 2007's Beyond, or the keyboard colorings of I Bet on Sky. That's not to say Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't surprise, because it does -- namely, it shocks by sounding as vital as Dinosaur Jr. ever has. Deciding to not to build upon the expansive textures of I Bet on Sky, the trio nevertheless sounds vividly oversaturated throughout Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Certainly, J Mascis generates these brilliant colors through his guitar, with his riffs buzzing against each other and providing dense contrast to his piercing, lyrical solos, but the vigor of Lou Barlow and Murph is equally bracing. Beneath the fuzz, there are dexterous rhythms -- often, there's considerable air to the roar, making the music almost groove -- which gives Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not a visceral thrill, and if that's all it delivers it'd be enough, but the tunes are among the strongest sets of songs Mascis and Barlow have ever written. As always, Barlow gets two numbers, but the heavy jangle of "Love Is…" and the stuttering, bone-tired closer "Left/Right" complement Mascis, who alternates between hooky-heavy pop, weary urban country, and creeping sludge. While none of these may be new, the execution of it all, from composition to performance, means that Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not feels fresh, which is quite an achievement for a band approaching the tenth anniversary of its reunion.
Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine