The first single from the Dinosaur Jr. frontman’s sixth solo album starts off great and gets better—especially on the solos.

Even when J Mascis is crooning over an up-tempo tune, his vocals somehow sound like he tracked them while he was still in bed. And, as with most of his recordings, that sleepy signature singing style is just part of the charm. “Every Morning” is no exception. It starts off with sprightly strummed acoustic guitar before a simple meat-and-potatoes rhythm section ushers in Mascis’ meditative melodies, replete with those high octave harmonies fans know and love. Even when he lets loose on the kinds of punchy Marshall-pushed leads synonymous with all things Dinosaur Jr., it’s the catchy chorus that reminds us how—in addition to being a guitar luminary—he’s also one of the better songwriters of our time.

Tied to a Star also promises guest contributions from Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, Polaris), Cat Power, Pall Jenkins (the Black Heart Procession), and others. More importantly, if the rest of the songs are as great as this one, it will be much more than an album to put on while you’re waiting for the next Dinosaur Jr. release. jmascis.com

Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!

Read MoreShow less

Flare is a dual-function pedal with a tube-like booster and a 1970s-style ring modulator effect that can be played separately or together.

Read MoreShow less

This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal.

Read MoreShow less