dinosaur jr

Here are 16 of our favorite stomp stations from the past year, including Chris Shiflett, Joe Bonamassa, Gary Holt, J Mascis, the AristocratsBryan Beller, Wolf Van Halen, Shinedown, and more.

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One of rock’s loudest guitar-and-bass duos catalogs their ferocious setups.

PG’s Chris Kies headed to the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville to hang with J and Lou (above) of Dinosaur Jr., and to check out the various workhorse instruments, room-rattling amps, and piles of pedals that forge their signature alt-rock vibe.

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J Mascis, with drummer Murph to his left and bassist Lou Barlow at right, was initially a drummer himself, but transitioned to guitar in order to capture his vision of Dinosaur Jr.’s sound.
Photo by Levi Walton

Alt-rock guitar hero J Mascis might be soft-spoken, but when it comes to guitar, he blasts everything to 10. Get an inside look at the making of Dinosaur Jr.’s new album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not.

J Mascis doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t have to. He’s an alternative rock icon—an awkward guitar hero from a music scene not usually interested in guitar heroes. He plays with grace, finesse, and stubborn self-confidence; churns out riffs with abandon; and writes artful but listenable songs. He plays loud, too. But volume isn’t a gimmick. It’s an aesthetic statement that’s also tuneful and tasteful.

Mascis has been around for a while. His band, Dinosaur Jr., started in Western Massachusetts in the mid-1980s and rose from the ashes of Deep Wound, a hardcore band that featured Mascis on drums. Dinosaur Jr.—with Mascis on guitar, Lou Barlow on bass, and Murph on drums—was loud, audacious, and influential, releasing three acclaimed albums, including their 1985 debut Dinosaur, You’re Living All Over Me (1987), and Bug (1988), before unraveling in 1989. Mascis soldiered on without his original mates, and the band signed with a major label, Sire, in the early ’90s. They got significant exposure and released a number of alternative anthems like “Out There” and “The Wagon.” But by decade’s end, Dinosaur Jr. had morphed into J Mascis and the Fog, and that seemed to be the end of the line.

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