Saturday, January 19, 2013

Album Review: J Mascis + The Fog - More Light

In 2000, J Mascis released what ostensibly was his first solo album but in reality followed on from his Dinosaur Jr work, which saw him progressively take over more and more responsibility for the music. The album features Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard on vocals on a few of the tracks, and also, thrillingly, Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine.

Despite the personnel involved, it's pretty much business as usual for Mascis, from the moment he slams into opener Sameday, which is in the vein of vintage Dinosaur Jr ie heavy riffs and Mascis charmingly half-arsed drawled vocals. Where'd You Go has an almost 70s classic rock riff at its core, while Back Before You Go and All the Girls have a kind of Lemonheads-gone-heavy feel.

The album is not without its fine mellow moments - the swirling keyboards of Waistin', the summery, acoustic picking of Ground Me To You and the blissed-out, what can only be described as 'wibblyness' of Ammaring. Later, Pollard makes his presence on the call-and-response grunge of I'm Not Fine. As for Shields? Most prominent on the title track, the final song on the album. He pours his own particular brand of magic over a complete headrush of a track, equal parts MBV and Primal Scream's Accelerator, and the tracks collapses in a sea of distortion and effects. It's a great way to round off a collection of songs well able to stand alongside Mascis' Dinosaur Jr material.