Arriving on the iconic Sub Pop label 2 years after the very good "Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not" by Dinosaur Jr, the latest solo album from the alternative rock legend, J Mascis, is full of exactly what you'd expect. Catchy chord progressions, world-weary vocals and face-melting solos feature throughout.
Whilst the vibe and sound is much more relaxed and laid back than Dinosaur Jr's heavier and more aggressive work, unsurprisingly the quality bar is just as high. Ever since Dinosaur Jr reformed in 2005 the work the music produced has been consistently good from "Beyond" to the above mentioned "Give A Glimpse.."
Lead track, "See You At The Movies" sets the tone from the outset. Fluid lead guitar work flows in an effortless sounding stream from the fret-board.
"Web So Dense", (with some nice Mellotron 'cello'), "I Went Dust" and "Sometimes" feature nice changes of pace in the back half of each song. "Movies" and the busy shuffle of "Cut Stranger" are the highlight of the album for me.
A gifted all round musician, this really is a true solo effort, as apart from some piano and backing/harmony vocals Masics plays everything along with writing and producing the album.
I've been a fan of his work since discovering Dinosaur Jr in the mid '90's, particularly the albums "Where You Been" and "Hand It Over". Although there is nothing here to match the heights of "Start Chopping", it is nonetheless a consistently enjoyable album.
If you like the work of Dinosaur Jr or Mascis' solo output you will find much to enjoy here.
"Finding you is easy, finding me is hard...."