There is, apparently, a thin layer of grey rock called the KT boundary which encircles the earth and separates the Cretaceous from the Tertiary marking the mass extinction of the dinosaur. In music terms it might be considered the Grunge belt.
It was sad that, on Saturday night, music that had once sounded so challenging to the trite orthodoxies of American Rock that it had come to sweep away sounded so contrived. Mascis and Barlow, reunited after the deep wound of their earlier split, are again touring as Dinosaur Jnr, again releasing an album (Beyond, Fat Possum 2007). Nothing much has changed since I saw them playing with the Jesus & Mary Chain, Blur (!) and My Bloody Valentine.
They are still, it has to be said, fairly loud. They still play everything at a single tempo. Mascis, still, can twiddle for Massachusetts and the songs, still, end abruptly. They are tight as a pin. Unfortunately it seemed nigh impossible to distinguish one song from another. These guys were the progenitors of grunge and respect is due but when Mascis, long grey hippy hair and bushy black eyebrows, threw a fistful of CDs into the crowd at least two were thrown back.
The set comprised all the hits and the crowd jumped around enthusiastically at the front. Jnr were obviously hitting the mark. Not least for the middle-aged man dressed in sheet, accessorized with a gold party hat and a large red inflatable guitar.
Sadly Dorf’s glamorous photographer had not arrived late enough for this to remain unwritten and I skulked at the back, taking notes. Maybe it’s something about Mascis’ voice? Maybe its that the mixture of influences cited on their behalf, Sabbath, The Cure, Neil Young, The Birthday Party. It all sounds like a good idea in theory but in the end amounts to whining adolescent American RAWK at its worst (at its best, a bad case of indigestion).
The site of three men old enough to know better but not, one hopes, for senility to have set in seemingly determined to regress, is about as anti-rock & roll a statement as I have seen.