Dinosaur Jr

Brooklyn Bowl, London on Wednesday 6 August 2014

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The awkward tension that has permeated Dinosaur Jr's very existence throughout their career is now the stuff of legend. Following a surprising reunion back in 2005, they band regrouped evidently out of a creative desire, rather than for personal or monetary gain, given that their subsequent three albums have been amongst the very best of their career.

So to the Brooklyn Bowl – a solitary UK date in probably the most bizarre venue in the country. If you fancy a game of bowling with your feedback, distortion and inevitable tinnitus, then this is the place for you. Fortunately, all eyes seem to be on the band, although such is the ferocity of the sound they create, it's near impossible to divert your attention elsewhere.

Spreading the set evenly across their vast career, the band produce an ungodly sound, quite remarkable for just three men, which at times seems akin to standing on a runway as a plane is taking off - noticeably on a pulsating rendition of 'Little Fury Things', which is greeted with a roar of approval from the audience.

In stark contrast to the laconic presence of lead singer and guitarist J. Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow is a bundle of energy, hiding behind a mass of wavy locks, he pounds away at his bass with a fury and vitality which adds to the sheer brutality of the band's sound. He takes the lead on a brilliant 'Back To Your Heart', one of three post-reunion tracks aired this evening.

Although the band are no kind of showmen, they're not foolish or stubborn enough to ignore their classic hits, with the likes of 'Start Choppin' and 'Feel The Pain' pleasing both hardcore and casual fans alike. Ending the show with a riotous cover of The Cure's 'Just Like Heaven', which segues into the aptly-titled and demonic 'Sludgefest', the band exit the stage amid a boisterous flurry of distortion .

It's worth noting that the reaction to the newer songs, particularly a rousing 'Watch The Corners' are greeted with even more enthusiasm than some of their classic hits that pepper the set. On a related point, there's a surprisingly youthful dominance to the crowd, further justifying the band's ongoing existence. On this kind of form, here's hoping their rebirth lives on.

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article by: Craig Jones

published: 11/08/2014 13:08


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