Words By: Laurent Shervington
It would be lying not to admit the excitement associated with exclaiming “Woah, Dinosaur Jr. are back!” has endured an inevitable decline in recent years given the band has produced three ‘reunion’ albums since 1997’s Hand It Over.
This is not to say said albums have been sub-par; if anything they’re more than matched previous touchstones in their discography. The band has stuck with their classic J – Lou – Murph lineup that they have with the majority of the band’s existence and it’s a goddamn winning formula.
I’ve found J Mascis has a knack for crafting a specific type of truly satisfying chord progressions, you get a sense of familiarity upon first listen – not in that they feel recycled – it’s simply more akin to a welcome home hug. Yes, it’s like J is standing in your driveway wearing an apron, there’s a big banner that says MISSED YOU, you can smell fresh pie, etc. Well, “Tiny” is no exception to this rule and with the truly adorable shots of J and his bulldog Beefy providing the visual component of the song, it now all makes sense.
Director Laurie Collyer talked a bit about the inspiration for the video being J’s other passions in life besides music including “Bulldogs and skateboarding”, the latter being a somewhat more regular feature since the video for “Over It” in 2009. The video’s premise is simply a day out with J and Beefy, visiting a roller derby, a skatepark, and a rehearsal room along the way. Heading towards the middle section of the song J throws in an exceptional guitar solo, bridging the track between chorus’s while Lou’s fantastic bass playing keeps the rhythm seamlessly.
Usually not known for his singing ability, J’s simple refrain I wanna know/I wanna go/I’m all alone/I wanna know matches the tone of the instrumental perfectly and at this point we’ve chalked up another one for team Dino. Mathematically this band should have stopped being this good a decade or so ago, but here we are again with numbers on the board; inevitably heading into another victory lap for the extensively critically acclaimed trio.