Can you ever go home again?
That was the metaphoric question faced by Dinosaur Jr. when the band regrouped after an almost 10-year hiatus.
Blame it on youth or the pressures of the business, but the members went their separate ways in 1997, despite the rock-alt status and wide-ranging fan base that had rockers including Kurt Cobain praising their sound.
When the members regrouped in 2007 and released "Beyond," critics gave it a thumbs up, but some wondered privately if this hit was a fluke.
If there are any doubters out there, fasten your seat belts, because the latest Dinosaur Jr. album, "Farm," will rock those thoughts away.
Listening to the songs by original members J Mascis, bass player Lou Barlow and drummer Murph (Emmett Jefferson "Patrick" Murphy III), you know they're really back.
Consider "See You," a song filled with twanging alt guitar and the hazy, gravelly vocals that are lead vocalist Mascis's trademark. Then listen to "Pieces," a hard-charging rocker. Just when you think you understand the sound, along comes the reflective "Plans," with achingly lonely guitars and throbbing drums accompanying richly textured lyrics with lines such as "I got nothing left to be."
Quit your kidding, guys. Welcome home. We all want to spend time on the "Farm."
-- Nancy Dunham, Weekend (Oct. 2009)