Album: Dinosaur Jr. – Sweep It Into Space review

by Harry Hodgson

Alternative rock legends – Dinosaur Jr. – are back with their twelfth record to date – Sweep It Into Space is a thrilling adventure of pummelling drums, overdriven guitars and raw, emotive vocals

No time is wasted on Sweep It Into Space – album opener, I Ain’t, starts with a fuzzed-out guitar backed by fast paced, pounding drums that lets the listener know what good time they are in for. And while the guitars are loud, as expected, they have a certain vulnerability to them, which is accentuated with frontman J. Mascis’ honest vocal presence. 

The album doesn’t slow down from there either. I Met The Stones continues the hazy, blown out sound. The lead guitar line screams against the wall of sound created by the band – a stellar example of drummer Murphy’s thunderous, unrelentless style.

The middle portion of the record sees more variation.Single, Garden, is a highlight. With a slower feel, while its structure may seem simplistic, it is massively effective in execution. Whooshing, wild guitars and bold, powerful snare rim shots lift the chorus – adding a sense of euphoria, which juxtaposes the more subtle verses.

Repeat listens sees unexpected additions crawl from the record’s sonic palette – be it the the tambourine on the fantastically anthemic, Hide Another Round, the inclusion of the piano on Take It Back, or even the contribution from co-producer Kurt Vile on twelve string guitar on I Ran Away.

The final stretch of the album wraps it up magnificently. The emotionally potent penultimate track, Walking To You, gives the album a true sense of evolution with its hard-hitting intro and deep burn of overdriven guitars. While the final track, You Wonder, is a beautiful end to the record. ‘My religion is a picture of you humming in my ear,’ sings Mascis on a fitting ode to the close of the record – as the final fuzz of guitar brings us full circle.

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