"A record full of sprawling guitar solos, textual acoustics and steady drums": J Mascis finds new ways to express himself on What Do We Do Now

What Do We Do Now is beautiful, as we've come to expect from the Dinosaur Jr mainman

J Mascis: What Do We Do Now cover art
(Image: © Sub Pop)

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On a record full of sprawling guitar solos, textual acoustics and steady drums, J Mascis’s plaintive-howl of a vocal tops off everything, adding one more layer of poignancy. 

If he sounds broken, it’s only because the Dinosaur Jr man is finding a new way to express himself. What Do We Do Now is only his fifth solo studio album since 1996, but it’s not like he doesn’t have a welter of other projects. 

Started during final days of lockdown, it may sound like a full band, but really it’s just Mascis following his own lead and adding then adding some more. Guest musicians include Ken Mauri of The B-52’s on keyboards and Matthew ‘Doc’ Dunn on steel guitar. 

Standout track is the full-blown power ballad Right Behind Me, featuring a classic wailing Mascis guitar solo. Excellent

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.