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5/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 21st October 2014
I have a few bands that, when listening to new albums by them I refer to as ‘Like sitting in a comfy chair’, i.e. whatever they do I tend to like it. Pavement, Sebadoh, Smog, Gene Clark, Neil Young (with a few 80s exceptions!) and Dinosaur Jr. are just a few names that spring to mind. J Mascis was going through a fertile period of writing great pop/rock songs with monster riffs and melodic hooks a few years prior to the release of 1997’s “Hand It Over”. “Where You Been” (1993) and “Without A Sound” (1994) Moreover, the blissful single “Take A Run At The Sun”, written for The Allison Anders film “Grace Of May Heart” was released on the same day, so I was looking forward to more of the same. After my first few listens to “Hand It Over” I started to worry that there were a few springs beginning to poke through the seat my imaginary comfortable chair. “I Don’t Think” starts with an ominous chugging guitar and kept me worrying but by the chorus there was a twinkle of melody typical of Mascis. “Never Bought It” has a similar start and is like a poor relation of “Get Me”. Then we get to “Nothin’s Goin’On” the signs are brighter and indeed, we have a decent song, the highlight, as it turns out. After that my worry is pretty much confirmed, “I’m Insane” has a trumpet part that almost sounds like it belongs to another song. “Can We Move This” is okay “Alone” is a sludgy eight minutes that you don’t get back. There’s not much else on here of any worth, which is sad.
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