“A loose album that throws in plenty of shapes and sizes, some moments certainly fare better than others, but it’s without doubt an enjoyable listen…”
Dinosaur Jnr | I Bet On Sky
While a new crowd of young acts (Yuck, Male Bonding, Milk Maid among many others) now ply their trade producing this sort of racket, it is interesting to hear the ones who began it all still plugging away themselves. And listening to I Bet on Sky you can tell that Dinosaur Jnr – a band in their 26th year no less – are a much-experienced, well-oiled machine.
Opener ‘Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know’ is a real gem, a direct and understated piece of work from these rock-pop pioneers, who are now on their third full-length since their second coming six years ago. Things slow down– one could even say revert to type—during ‘Watch the Corners’ which brings us more of the lovelorn, slacker-grunge sound they’ve harnessed so well and have come to take ownership of. ‘Stick a Toe In’ does all of the above and more, with what it lacks in energy and hooks made up for in the use of some oddly apropriate one note piano.
There is an effortless, under-the-radar feel to this new material, as if the hype and headlines that marked their return have long gone, with the band now settling into some middle-aged comfort zone that allows them to just get on with it. It suits them. The chirpy restraint of ‘Almost Fare’ is another piece of effortless brilliance, while ‘Rude’ takes us right back to those brief and lo-fi, early-’90s Sebadoh gems.
‘Recognition’ is a true belter of a tune, where Lou Barlow takes up the mic again, sounding like something that could be found on the excellent Bakesale album from 1994. ‘I Know It So Well’ brings us some funky guitar shuffling, like some sort of Madchester-Grunge collision
All the ingredients are here, including those friendly guitar-solos-for-people-who-don’t-normally-like-guitar-solos, and J Masics’ understated and instantly recognisable, er, singing. I Bet on Sky is a loose album that throws in plenty of shapes and sizes, some moments certainly fare better than others, but it’s without doubt an enjoyable listen.