Dinosaur Jr's Sweep It Into Space is rampant, windswept, and classic

Pioneering alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr revive their classic line-up for Sweep It Into Space, and it's like they've never been away

Dinosaur Jr: Sweep It Into Space
(Image: © Jagjaguwar)

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It’s the classic line-up of Dinosaur Jr: J, Lou and Murph. And it’s the classic sound of Dinosaur Jr: rampant, windswept, J’s guitar spiralling out everywhere in all directions, his plaintive voice calling down the years. 

This album was originally scheduled for release in 2020, with guest Kurt Vile lined up for a few extra licks (such as the 12-string on I Ran Away), but he went down with the plague. 

So J did his usual effortless stand-in thang on guitar, and with Lou writing two beautiful soft rockers and Murph powering away on drums created another album to stand if not quite the equal of the original Dinosaur albums that around the end of the 80s helped change the face of US alternative rock, then somewhere close.

Squint, and the raging guitar inferno of I Expect it Always could easily be a hidden track from Bug (1988), Barlow’s You Wonder could be an early Lanegan/Screaming Trees track, I Met The Stones is an equal of anything boasting wah-wah. 

Not revivalist, not revisionist, just ravishing.

Everett True

Everett True started life as The Legend!, publishing the fanzine of that name and contributing to NME. Subsequently he wrote for some years for Melody Maker, for whom he wrote seminal pieces about Nirvana and others. He was the co-founder with photographer Steve Gullick of Careless Talk Costs Lives, a deliberately short-lived publication designed to be the antidote to the established UK music magazines.