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J Mascis

Elastic Days (Sub Pop Records)

£18.99

RELEASED: 9th November 2018
Indies Only Crystal Clear with Purple Swirl Vinyl LP

Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shapeshifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called ‘Martin + Me’. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J’s songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr line up in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, ‘Sings + Chant for AMMA’ (2005), ‘Several Shades of Why’ (2011) and ‘Tied to a Star’ (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of
cool.

Like its predecessors, ‘Elastic Days’ was recorded at J’s own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on ‘Tied to a Star’) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession) and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc) among others but the show is mostly J’s and J’s alone. “The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I’d originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I’d play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”

Tracklisting:

  1. See You At The Movies
  2. Web So Dense
  3. I Went Dust
  4. Sky Is All We Had
  5. Picking Out The Seeds
  6. Give If Off
  7. Drop Me
  8. Cut Stranger
  9. Elastic Days
  10. Sometimes
  11. Wanted You Around
  12. Everything She Said