Dinosaur Jr.'s Sweep It Into Space: What You Need to Know
Five years on from the release of their most recent full-length offering, 2016’s Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, veteran alt-rock trio Dinosaur Jr. are back once again this week with their twelfth studio album.
Sweep It Into Space arrives in stores on Friday (April 23) and sees J Mascis and co. deliver a dozen new songs including recent singles ‘Garden’ and ‘Take It Back’. Here’s everything else you need to know…
A little background…
Recording sessions for the new album began in autumn of 2019 and by the beginning of the following year things were shaping up well enough that a summer 2020 release date was being discussed internally. But then the pandemic hit, and release plans were shelved until the announcement of the new album’s title and release date came in February this year, along with the unveiling of the album’s lead single ‘I Ran Away’.
Who’s producing it?
The album has once again been recorded at the J. Mascis owned Bisquiteen Studios in Amherst, Massachusetts, only this time Mascis shares production duties with Kurt Vile. Vile worked on the early recording sessions, but after the pandemic hit Mascis was left to finish the album alone, although he says that he did end up “mimicking a few things’ that Vile had laid down in the beginning.
Any special guests?
Besides his role as co-producer, Vile also serves as the only additional musician on the new album, but beyond his contributions, there are no other guests to speak of.
What does it sound like?
Mascis discussed some of his inspiration for the direction of the album in a press release when the album was announced, saying: “I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy, so I was trying to get some of that duelling twin-lead sound.”
That’s certainly evident in places, especially on ‘I Ran Away’ where Vile’s 12-string chimes against Mascis’ shimmering guitar licks, but overall the album isn’t quite as heavy as the Thin Lizzy influence might suggest, especially when weighed against the fuzzed-up guitars that featured so prominently on the album’s predecessor..
Even beyond Lou Barlow’s customary brace of songs on the album, which offers some of Sweep It Into Space’s more gentle moments, the fuzz pedals have largely taken a back seat to acoustic guitars and soaring, melodic guitar leads like the ones found on ‘Take It Back’.
Does it deliver?
Sweep It Into Space may be a little gentler than their most recent album and although Kurt Vile’s influence can definitely be felt across much of the new record, it still very much bears all the melodic hallmarks that you’d expect from a Dinosaur Jr. album. There’s nothing here that steps radically outside of their usual territory, but this is a well-balanced addition to the discography of a band who, despite their name, are some way from extinction yet.