The return of J Mascis


Over nearly a quarter of a century, J Mascis has, both with and without Dinosaur Jr, presented the world with some awesome songs, and given the slacker image much of its’ dictionary definition (in terms of image rather than recorded output). Given the way that his songs have frequently bludgeoned their listeners – in the best possible way- perhaps the idea of a mellow acoustic Mascis album seems unlikely. Not least from the man who took the Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ and turned it from a pop tune into a full-blown psych out track.

Well, next week sees the release of his first proper solo album (yeah, I know, this is being disputed in various places too) Several Shades Of Why. It’s coming out on Sub Pop, which is almost always a sure sign of quality. It features many contributors, not least Kurt Vile who’s just released his fantastic Smoke Ring For My Halo album which features Mascis.

It is a gorgeous, beautiful record, which is different to how we have mostly come to think of him, and yet unmistakably, it is him. I hear so many acoustic albums that lack a je ne sais quoi – yet this bewitches you right from the very first listen.

Stream it here:

Sub Pop have also made a couple of the tracks available as free mp3s available from their website:

J Mascis -‘Is It Done.’ mp3

J Mascis -‘Not Enough.’ mp3