Though I hadn’t listened to an entire Dinosaur Jr. album since sometime in the late 1990’s, I still had a good feeling about Farm before I ever heard it. While it’s not even close to the band’s original albums as far as sticking power and repeat listenability is concerned, Farm is far from a disappointment. It delivers exactly what is expected of Dinosaur Jr. The album is a potent example of their influence, talent, and power, and it shows why this band should never, ever change.
Longtime fans of the influential group will gleefully bathe their ears in the warm, indulgent guitar work and positively unmistakable vocal style that J. Mascis peddles. His sound is timeless, and listeners who followed the band during their heyday will be transported back in time by fuzzy rockers like “Pieces” and “Plans.” The whole affair has a casual vibe that must drive more high-strung musicians crazy with its simplicity. On Farm, Dinosaur Jr. float and glide through the realm of disaffected alt-rock with less resistance than most bands can dream of, wringing melancholy, distorted gold seemingly out of thin air.
“There’s No Here” has a perfect title – this is, after all, a band that has historically named albums and songs in their own uniquely wordy way. “There’s No Here” is just the kind of mysteriously-monikered, windows-down un-pop-rock treasure that they’ve been discovering for decades. “Said the People” has a big-bang type of rock-ballad chord progression that is stunningly simple but incredibly effective. It’s the personality of the band that makes these three-chord stompers work, and Mascis’ guitar sound is delightfully noisy and melodic.
That’s not to say that the entire album is spotless, as underwhelming tracks like “Your Weather” and “I Want You to Know” break up the otherwise satisfying whole created by achingly lovable rock gems like “Over It,” the lengthy, dynamic “I Don’t Wanna Go There,” and the charging, nostalgia-inducing “Friends.” For the most part, Farm is another exciting return to form that will delight the band’s devotees and (hopefully) show a whole new generation just how important a role Dinosaur Jr. has played in the history of rock music.
Rating: 8.1 out of 10