Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been (Cover Artwork)

Dinosaur Jr.

Where You Been (1993)


Dinosaur Jr., perhaps one of the most under-rated bands in all of grunge/punk. With each album, Dino jr. explored new sonic landscapes and truely paved the way for many grunge, and ultimately, punk bands, to burst onto the scene in the early-mid 90's.

With "Where you Been", Dinosaur Jr. began to sound more full. Previous efforts such as "Bugs" and "Your Living All Over me" were great, but lacked the little extra production found on later albums. Thats not to say that this CD sounds slick at all. In fact, J. Mascis and crew sound downright sloppy at least half the time. The album opens with what should be a grunge classic "Out There", a great song with soaring guitar parts, crashing drums, and Mascis's painfully strained vocals. The next song, "Start Choppin" keeps the energy going, with a crafty lead and desolete lyrics.

Other great songs include "On the Way", "Drawings", "Hide" and "Goin' Home". Most every song is a doorway into Mascis's overly-tortured soul, with nary a glimmer of happiness to be found anywhere on the recording. Even the cover art is depressing. Despite the fuzzed-out guitars and grunge-punk anthems, this is pure, unfiltered sadness.

J. Mascis is under-rated to be sure, and as I said, so is his band. Dinousaur jr. never released a bad album, and Mascis's new project, J. Mascis and the Fog, picks up right where Dinosaur left off. While bands/ no-talent hacks like Candlebox blew up in the mainstream, Dinosaur Jr. never enjoyed commercial success, except for a minor hit or two. This is perhaps one of rock's best kept secrets, and "Where You Been" catches them in their prime.