J Mascis may be the most well-known name here, but the former Dinosaur Jr. frontman has returned to his first love the drums and left the band's identity in the hands of Kyle Thomas of the New England avant-folk combo Feathers, who sings and writes the band's indecipherable lyrics. Thomas must figure heavily in the music's composition as well, since anyone familiar with Mascis knows everything the man touches comes out in that Mascis way, and that's not evident here. This is an approximation of early-'70s hard rock, with an emphasis on sludgy tempos and guitar riffs more serpentine than the Dino Jr. catalog. Naturally, as befits Mascis, the loudest guitarist on the planet, the drums are now too loud. What he denied Murph all those years, he now indulges in himself. These out-of-context skin-poundings eclipse the vocals, disrupting the perfectly languid jam-out on "Changing" and drawing far too much attention to the band's individual parts. This hard rock is meant to melt in your hands.
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