Somewhat lost amid this summer's reunion fever is Beyond, the first album from the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup in 18 years, and we've got our hands on four tracks from the May 1 release.
More tuneful and less abrasive (though no less loud) than Bug-era Dinosaur, J. Mascis sounds as fantastically ambivalent as ever.
"Back to Your Heart"
Lou Barlow's not only back in the fold, but out in front; if you didn't know better, you'd swear you're listening to vintage Sebadoh, crippling self-doubt and all.
"This Is All I Came to Do"
In many ways, J. Mascis numbers are like country songs; all you have to do is read the title and you know what you're getting chorus-wise. The man can write a chorus and -- as he wastes no time reminding us -- play a guitar solo.
"Been There All the Time" LISTEN TO MP3
While the attention may be focused on Mascis and Barlow's prickly history, the frenetic drums here make the case that Murph is every bit as vital to the equation as his famously whiney bandmates. STEVE KANDELL