Pick Of The Day: Dinosaur Jr. Injects Life Into Prehistoric Classic

Trio Reunited In 2005

Dinosaur Jr.

The members of underground-rock trio Dinosaur Jr. might now sport gray hair (or none at all) and remain firmly ensconced on the oldies reunion circuit, but these guys remain a fierce live unit.

This version of “Sludgefeast,” a killer cut originally released on their 1987 debut album, “You’re Living All Over Me,” was recorded last spring for a radio program and documents how powerful the band’s music can be. Dinosaur’s unique blend of influences — from the Cure to Jimi Hendrix to Black Flag — helped forge the music template that was packaged as alternative rock in the 1990s.

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Acting like the slackers they were once accused of being, the band seems fairly casual at first. The song’s beginning is somewhat disorienting until bassist Lou Barlow jumps in a few beats late with a rumbling sound that makes the song lunge forward like a rabid dog. Guitarist J. Mascis’ playing is constantly shifting moods — growly riffs segue into Hendrix-like heroic vistas of sound than transform into lush harmonic chords a la My Bloody Valentine.

So long as Dinosaur Jr. continues in this way, surely dinosaur rock will never go extinct.