I Bet On Sky

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The first two albums in Dinosaur Jr.’s mid-2000's thundering resurgence are urgent and primal, like epic campfires with long-lost dropout neighbours. But instead of staring into the ashes the next morning, I Bet On Sky would rather gaze at the clouds. The trio’s latest is laden with fresh slices of their fuzzy brand of rock, punctuated as always by J Mascis’s eternal caterwaul and searing fretwork. “Watch the Corners” is a thick, nougaty blast of this framework at its best, rounding off stomp sections with precise drum cascades and culminating in a liquid guitar solo. The up-tempo basher “Pierce the Morning Rain” chugs with an infectious brightness. “Almost Fare” has a loping riff that’s buoyed with organ, and is elevated by J’s typically dazed vocal delivery: “Now there she is...What should I do, what should I do...”. His lyrical pursuits retain their distinctive shuffling shyness. “All this time, couldn’t wait to get by...” sings Mascis on the solemn closer “See It On Your Side”, which builds to an eruptive solo. The band sounds as tight-knit and fluid as they have during their revival. There’s something about the interlocking playing of Mascis, Murph, and Lou Barlow that generates a natural synergy. Even when they’re just gamboling around the blues scale, like on the romping “I Know It Oh So Well”, they’re a joy to hear. In abidance with true Dino Jr. lore, Barlow offers two jittery, fast-paced tunes to cleanse the record‘s palette. “Rude” hops along nicely, and “Recognition” hinges on frenetic riffage. In short, I Bet On Sky packs another satisfying wallop from a band that’s finally content to trudge on.