Recording information: Bisquiteen, Amherst, MA (2015/2016).
Arriving four years after 2012's I Bet on Sky -- the longest stretch of time between albums since Dinosaur Jr. became an active band again in 2007 -- Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't offer any surface surprises, at least not along the lines of the roaring reunion of 2007's Beyond, or the keyboard colorings of I Bet on Sky. That's not to say Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't surprise, because it does -- namely, it shocks by sounding as vital as Dinosaur Jr. ever has. Deciding to not to build upon the expansive textures of I Bet on Sky, the trio nevertheless sounds vividly oversaturated throughout Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Certainly, J Mascis generates these brilliant colors through his guitar, with his riffs buzzing against each other and providing dense contrast to his piercing, lyrical solos, but the vigor of Lou Barlow and Murph is equally bracing. Beneath the fuzz, there are dexterous rhythms -- often, there's considerable air to the roar, making the music almost groove -- which gives Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not a visceral thrill, and if that's all it delivers it'd be enough, but the tunes are among the strongest sets of songs Mascis and Barlow have ever written. As always, Barlow gets two numbers, but the heavy jangle of "Love Is." and the stuttering, bone-tired closer "Left/Right" complement Mascis, who alternates between hooky-heavy pop, weary urban country, and creeping sludge. While none of these may be new, the execution of it all, from composition to performance, means that Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not feels fresh, which is quite an achievement for a band approaching the tenth anniversary of its reunion. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "GIVE A GLIMPSE OF WHAT YER NOT presents more polished, reenergized versions of the fuzzy, impressionistic downer rock they helped pioneer 30 years ago....Mascis dominates the songwriting here with one acidic, tempestuous guitar swirl after another..."
Spin - "Opener 'Goin' Down' greets you with the lumbering zeal of a golden retriever. Its noggin-gripping hook and incessant rhythm duel with Mascis' unmistakable drawl."
Magnet - "In short, on its 11th LP, Dinosaur Jr does what it has done best for the past 30-plus years, which is to remind us of the life-giving force of guitar, bass, drums and scary-big stack of Marshall amps."
Mojo (Publisher) - "GIVE A GLIMPSE OF WHAT YER NOT is prime Mascis music, Dinosaur sounding at ease with what they are and do, but still thrilled by the possibilities within that framework."
Mojo (Publisher) - Ranked #17 in Mojo's 'The 50 Best Albums Of 2016' -- "[A]n evolutionary triumph...powered by a band comfortable with its state of gnarly grace."
NME (Magazine) - "Rich organ chords add colour to the gentle choruses of `Be A Part' but a crackling power trio sound dominates, with Barlow's melodic, thick basslines holding their own against Mascis's blistering guitar."
Paste (magazine) - "While most of Dinosaur Jr's material is 80 percent Mascis, Barlow, who normally turns in two pretty good songs per album, is at his absolute best in years here."
Pitchfork (Website) - "On the charging opener 'Goin Down,' a second of amp hum hangs in the air before the song kicks off, and what follows is archetypal 'new' Dinosaur Jr.: chugging, crunching-but-hummable and with a nice bow-tying solo."