Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another Installment Of Haahnster Loves The '80s

BUG (1988) was Dinosaur Jr's 3rd record, and the follow-up to YOU'RE LIVING ALL OVER ME, which I keep reading was their best album. (e.g., from Wikipedia: "generally considered their finest effort").

However, AllMusic Guide has this to say about BUG: "Relatively cleaner-produced and more accessible than You're Living All Over Me, Bug expanded on the strengths of its predecessor, and established Dinosaur Jr. as a major band in the American underground. Although the majority of the album is firmly situated in the sprawling, noisy metallic fusion of hard rock and avant noise, Bug also demonstrates that J Mascis has a talent for winding folk-rock, particularly on 'The Post' and 'Pond Song.' Like its predecessor, the songs on Bug are quite uneven, but it does represent a major step forward for Mascis, particularly on the masterpiece of the record, 'Freak Scene,' a surprisingly catchy song encapsulating the appeal and pitfalls of indie rock within three minutes."

So, now I'm torn. I LOVE BUG!!! So, do I buy its predecessor, which I don't think I've ever heard? Heaven knows I've been spending enough money on music lately...But check this out, also from AllMusic Guide, about YOU'RE LIVING ALL OVER ME: "A blitzkrieg fusion of hardcore punk, Sonic Youth-style noise freak-outs, heavy metal, and melodic hard rock in the vein of Neil Young, You're Living All Over Me was a turning point in American underground rock & roll. With its thin, unbalanced mix, the album sounds positively menacing and edgy..." OOOPS! They invoked the "holy" name of Neil Young! I guess that clinches it.

Anyway, back to BUG:

1 Freak Scene - 3:35
2 No Bones - 3:42
3 They Always Come - 4:25
4 Yeah We Know - 5:30
5 Let It Ride - 3:34
6 Pond Song - 2:54
7 Budge - 2:29
8 The Post - 3:36
9 Don't - 5:39

The guy in AllMusic was definitely right about how surprisingly catchy "Freak Scene" is. It's certainly one of the best "alternative" songs of the '80s. The delivery of the lines beginning with "So fucked, I can't believe it..." will absolutely floor you. Great stuff. Or, at the very least, you'll recognize how much of subsequent "alternative" music sounds exactly like those lines of this song.

All the songs were written by J Mascis (so, don't confuse "Let It Ride" with the old B.T.O. song of the same title...not that you could once you heard it!).

The other truly notable track is the finale, "Don't". This bad boy is pure, distorted guitar noise, with Mascis literally screaming at the top of his lungs, "WHY? WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ME?" repeatedly. I've always thought it was great. My wife looked at me like I just stepped off a UFO the last time she heard me playing it, though.

Bottom line: BUG comes highly recommended by me. Now, I guess I finally need to buy the other one, dammit.


Blogger Thrasher said...

I'm not familiar with You're Living All Over Me? But if it evokes the holy Neil, than it must be worth checking out.

Always thought Dinosaur Jr's cover of Lotta Love was an interesting interpretation. Definitely not Nicollete Larsen.

9:43 AM, April 06, 2006  

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