Dinosaur Jr.: I Bet on Sky

Dinosaur Jr, I Bet on SkyDinosaur Jr.: I Bet on Sky
Three things in life are certain, death, taxes, and kick ass J Mascis guitar solos. If you approach this record hoping for a classic Dinosaur Jr. album, you won’t be disappointed. Somehow, I Bet on Sky manages to capture the sound that makes the band so loved while managing to sound fresh and groundbreaking. The album is held together by some great guitar work and every track is worth several listens to capture their full power. While the album’s first single “Watch the Corners” is a fantastic song, it is difficult to properly pick one track that stands above all the others. Because of this, the album as a whole is of the highest quality which Dinosaur Jr. fans have come to expect from the band.

The album begins with “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” a track with a classic Dinosaur Jr. sound: strong riffs, haunting vocals, and a guitar solo that, while starting out slowly, really ties the track together. “Watch the Corners” follows, and keeps listeners intrigued. The song contains a lot of hard driving guitar and the bridge has acoustic guitar layered beneath an electric guitar solo that will likely melt your face off–in a good way. The song’s complex sound leads into “Almost Fare.” The track has a lighter sound, but as per the album’s theme, is all brought together with perhaps one of the album’s best guitar solos. The album’s sound shifts quite a bit with the Lou Barlow-penned “Rude.” Unlike many of the mid-tempo tracks of the early album, “Rude” is fast paced and punk-inspired with vocals by Barlow. While the song is a definite change of pace, it serves as a nice break. Lou Barlow’s song writing is featured later on the album as well with “Recognition.” The song shows the same quality that Barlow exhibited with Sebadoh. “Recognition” has guitar sounds that are all over the map, producing a fantastic sounding track punctuated by strong solos. The album completes with “See It On Your Side,” likely the weakest track. The song is a bit slow, and yet, is amended by J Mascis’s guitar work. But even the lowest point of the album sounds better than many other records.

There is so much that can be said about I Bet on Sky, but perhaps the most important is that if you enjoy a good guitar solo, look no further. J Mascis’s guitar work shines on this album. My cousin Chris put it best when describing the album to me when he said “J takes the guitar and makes sweet love to it every time.” I really couldn’t agree more.
Rating: 8.7/10
MP3: Dinosaur Jr. “Watch the Corners”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl