DINOSAUR JR: Hand It Over

Blanco Y Negro 0630-18312-2
A decade on from his original distillation of the essence of grunge, slacker ennui still dominates J Mascis's world, despite the breakthrough signalled by "Take a Run at the Sun", the song he wrote and performed for the Brian Wilson segment of Allison Anders' film Grace of My Heart. Complex yet graceful, it seemed to suggest that there was more to the Dinosaur Jr mainman than sheets of cloudy-grey guitar and a hoarse, sub-Neil Young croak.

So of course it's nowhere to be seen on Hand It Over, as recidivist a bout of Gen X whingeing as has been heard since - well, since the last Bush LP, I suppose. Apart from a brief foray into plunking banjo-driven country on "Gettin' Rough", and a tootling cornet on "I'm Insane", there's no notable progression here from 1994's Without a Sound: the failed falsetto vocals, the distorted chording, the vague photocopies of melodies, the aimless guitar breaks - all are dismayingly present, to diminishing effect. Mascis should mind his own lines from "Sure Not Over You", the album's best track: "Fed up with feeling strange/ I know you'll split if I don't change."

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