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The Electronic Anthology Project


[Self-released; 2012]

By ; February 10, 2012 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

“Tarpit” has always been a fan-favourite for listeners of Dinosaur Jr., and since first appearing on You’re Living All Over Me it has become one of their most well-known tracks from the album alongside “Little Fury Things” and “The Lung.” The song to this very day really demonstrates the creative and influential genius of the band, featuring all of the quintessential fuzziness that made many fall in love with them during the day.

Now the big reveal comes that J. Mascis has reworked some of these old Dinosaur. Jr tracks with the help of Built To Spill’s Brett Nelson and a whole bunch of synthesisers. The initial scepticism is difficult to shake, given the reliance of the band’s music on roaring guitars. Still, stranger things have happened, and while “Tarpit” with a synthesiser is certainly different to its original counterpart, it makes for an interesting listen all the same. Very much sounding like a slice of the 80s with its glamorous synth-pop style, the track is a lot more relaxed than it once was; drums have been replaced with machines and twinkling, spacey synthesiser notes allow the song to plod along in the absence of Mascis’ much-adored guitars.

Part of a bigger project to rework nine classic Dinosaur Jr. tunes, entitled The Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr., “Tarpit” serves as a decent indicator of what to expect from this upcoming release. It’s doubtful that “Tarpit” will earn Dinosaur Jr. a substantial amount of new fans; this is very much a release for those who wish to see the band’s music reworked in a more modern, electronic style. It won’t be for everyone, and it’s not a patch on the original. That said, it’s nice to see that J. Mascis is interested in exploring new sounds and styles, and although future Dinosaur Jr. releases are unlikely to adopt an electronic slant – for which we can be thankful – “Tarpit” is a reasonable indulgence for Mascis and an inoffensive listening experience for the rest of us.


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