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  • Dinosaur Jr.

    There’s no denying the impact that this Amherst, Massachusetts band had on the alternative rock world of the ’90s—its late-’80s albums for Black Flag’s SST Records helped lay the groundwork for alternative rock’s commercial breakthrough. Formed in 1984 by guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow, and drummer Patrick “Murph” Murphy, Dinosaur Jr. combined the noise of Sonic Youth with the melodic hard-rock riffing of Neil Young (and often elements of hardcore punk, metal, and folk), ultimately restoring the notion of “guitar hero” to indie rock. The band’s penchant for volume and distortion, quiet-loud dynamics, and Mascis’ laconic “slacker” whine left quite the lasting impression on the music world. Barlow would leave the band in 1989, turning his focus to his side project Sebadoh, and Dinosaur Jr. would become the songwriting vehicle for Mascis in the ’90s, dropping its hardcore-punk roots in favor of a more Neil Young-like approach. But no matter the decade, listening to Dinosaur Jr.’s sheer sonic power on vinyl is just plain awesome.
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