I had a whole clumsy metaphor worked out linking Dinosaur Jr.’s fuzz-drenched sound to a warm, wooly blanket but y’know what? It’s not necessary. It’s summer, for one, so there’s no need for heavy winter coverings. Also, there appears to be light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, and I’m much more interested in potential live music—new, old, doesn’t matter—than anything recorded. Sweep it into Space is a case of a pretty okay album coming at a bad time. Being Dinosaur Jr.’s 12th album overall and their fifth since reforming in 2007, Sweep retreads some familiar ground. J Mascis’s distorted guitar works alongside his drawling vocals and are still the main signifiers of the Dinosaur Jr. sound, with the ever-reliable Murph and Lou pounding out rhythmic bedrock in support. Beyond my own appreciation for that style, though, I didn’t find myself getting too excited. My first impression was that the lead single, “I Ran Away,” is the obvious winner by virtue of that extra bit of ear-wiggling charm, and most likely to make it into live sets when the band tours this autumn. Several listens later, I haven’t really changed my mind. I would jump at the chance to see Dinosaur Jr. live, but the rest of Sweep can largely be brushed aside.
3 out of 5