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Editors’ Notes

Primal but not primitive, Dinosaur Jr. came into their own on 1988’s Bug. This hellacious yet frequently tuneful work proved that hard rock’s menacing muscle could be fused with the quirky instincts of punk. J Mascis deconstructs and reconfigures familiar guitar hero motifs with a quick intelligence and deadpan humor, supported admirably by Lou Barlow’s liquid bass and Murph’s nimble, jazzy drumming. Bug’s songs draw upon Neil Young’s garage-folk aesthetic and give it a distinctly ‘80s indie-rock bent. Every composition has a unique character — “No Bones” matches a painfully yearning lyric with a slithery, tempo-shifting arrangement, while “Don’t” anticipates the screamo subgenre amidst flesh-searing riffage. The band’s tunes often teeter on the edge of mainstream appeal, as the bopping “Budge” and the chipper “They Always Come” demonstrate. For all their love of cacophony, “Pond Song” reveals a reflective, almost gentle sensibility. All these elements come together into a throbbing whole on “Freak Scene,” a glorious effusion of neurosis spurred on by Mascis’ hot-wired guitar.

Customer Reviews

Cause when I need a friend it's still you..

Drank a lot of beer to this album in the later 80's. Great follow up to the self titled Dinosuar and You're living all over me albums. Saw them play the night before I got married at the Whisky in Feb '91, I could barely hear the vows the next day at the county clerk. I remember a girl holding some guys head who was laying in the gutter outside the Whisky screaming... "He can't hear!! He can't hear!!" That's so cool. (It was loud, I mean real loud...)


This feels like the second half of a double album that started with 1987's "You're Living All Over Me." This album reveals more of guitarist/singer/songwriter/mastermind J Mascis' classic rock influences than the last one, and as a result, it's a bit more accessible. Songs like "Freak Scene," "They Always Come," and "Budge" sound like big hit rock songs from the 70's, albeit strained through YLAOM's offbeat punk filter. That's not a criticism, of course; this album is easily as good as it's predecessor. After this album, J fired everyone and got lazy, still returning to this album's blueprint today. They were never this good again.

One of the Best

"Bug" is one of the best albums released by Dinosaur jr. Most don't realize that a majority of the "indie/grunge/" music is a direct result of the efforts of Dinosaur jr. To be more exact, J. Mascis is the brains and music behind the moniker. This album, for me at least, never grows tired or old. There is a good mix of all types of rock-n-roll on this album. If you are a fan of loud, noise oriented rock that actually goes somewhere, buy it.


Formed: 1983 in Amherst, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dinosaur Jr. were largely responsible for returning lead guitar to indie rock and, along with their peers the Pixies, they injected late-'80s alternative rock with monumental levels of pure guitar noise. As the group's career progressed, it turned into a vehicle for J Mascis' songwriting and playing, which had the ultimate result of turning Dinosaur's albums into largely similar affairs. Over time, Mascis shed his hardcore punk roots and revealed himself to be a disciple of Neil Young, crafting simple...
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