Dinosaur Jr.'s first album, entitled DINOSAUR, is a generally overlooked artifact of the band's sizeable catalog. In fact, it's so often ignored that many assume the group's groundbreaking second release, YOU'RE LIVING ALL OVER ME, was actually the debut. Nevertheless, DINOSAUR is an ambitious collection of speedy, fuzzed-out, guitar-driven songs that scream with urgency. Most importantly, however, it offers an honest glimpse into the early years of one of alternative rock's founding fathers.
Guitar innovator J Mascis and bass-mangling cohort Lou Barlow take the listener on a brief foray into dark indie-metal on tracks like "Bulbs of Passion" and "Mountain Man," providing stark contrast to the more lo-fi pop specimens "Forget the Swan" and "Quest." Most songs race by at a rate faster than a punk-rock basement jam session. Overall, it's a portrait of a band on the verge of greatness. DINOSAUR is not for the faint of heart, but will justly reward the patient patron.
Spin (p.111) - "The self-titled debut has punk pluck..."
Alternative Press (p.108) - "[T]he band's debut found frontman J Mascis slapping one future-emo touchstone after another."
Magnet (p.88) - "[With] crossover metal before that was cool....DINOSAUR JR holds up as a brilliant album...."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.53) - "Their hardcore roots showed in the thrashing rockers, while Mascis' budding gift for melody and songcraft flourishes."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]here are moments where the disparate influences meld into something that's utterly specific to these three people."