Before its recent reunion, Dinosaur Jr.'s original lineup -- J. Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph -- last jammed together sometime in 1989 (for the full story, read Michael Azerrad's book Our Band Could Be Your Life). Mascis went on to release both interesting and awful blasts of guitar-driven rock. Barlow operated primarily under the Sebadoh moniker, creating some brilliantly noisy pop. And Murph has -- well, Murph has . . .
Beyond is manna from heaven for hardcore fans of early Dino. With its fuzzy, hook-driven center and extended guitar jams, the disc -- especially the single "Almost Ready" -- sounds more like the band's early classics (Bug, for example) than anything from the post-Barlow era. And even though Beyond was released on the Fat Possum imprint (Black Keys, Junior Kimbrough), the cover art is totally reminiscent of Dino's SST releases.
Young hipsters may think they've discovered the next thing, while older fans may walk away disillusioned. Either way, Beyond is a blast of sonic violence arriving at a much-needed time. Turn it up, goddammit.