I Bet on Sky
Dinosaur Jr.
I Bet on Sky
Jagjaguwar
Rating: I Bet on SkyI Bet on SkyI Bet on SkyI Bet on SkyI Bet on Sky

Who says there are no second acts in American lives? Dinosaur Jr. has been putting the lie to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s old line since their original lineup reunited in 2005. I Bet on Sky, the third post-reunion album, is an out-and-out career peak, ranking with the best records of their late-eighties indie-rock heyday, when they created their signature sound that combines J Mascis’s just-woke-up vocals with gale-force guitar. That foundation remains, but they’ve found fresh ways to reformulate it, adding keyboard and piano on the gorgeous “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know,” which, like the gently catchy “Almost Fare,” opts for grooves before riffage. Of course, Mascis’s guitar is in glorious effect, too, as on “I Know It Oh So Well,” which comes careening out on peeling wah-wah effects and pounding toms. “Pierce the Morning Rain” features a bounding, two-part riff, and both of bassist Lou Barlow’s songs, “Rude” and “Recognition,” also score. This dinosaur is omnivorous, and far from extinct.

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