Gig of the summer: Dinosaur Jr.

US alt-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. are coming to New Zealand.

US alt-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. are coming to New Zealand.

Not many bands can say they're still making good music after 32 years together.

Technically, Dinosaur Jr can't really say that either. The band broke up in 1997, only regrouping in 2005.

Still, it's been a hell of a long time since they formed back in 1984 in Massachusetts, USA. And the music they make is still bloody good.

Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis is one of the world's best guitarists.

Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis is one of the world's best guitarists.

The band's latest effort, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, was no exception.

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Dinosaur Jr are often described as an alt-rock band, but don't let that put you off. These guys aren't in the least bit pretentious; they just write really good rock music.

It's fast and loud and, on the surface, relatively simple. A little bit of psychedelia, a liberal dose of punk rock, some metal and just a hint of country.

They're often credited as the "godfathers of grunge", and you can definitely hear a kind of proto-Nirvana vibe in their tracks.

Part of the band's appeal is their endearing weirdness. There's the name, which makes no sense at all. There's frontman J Mascis' creepy long grey hair. There's the fact that they don't really seem to care about anything. At all. (An MTV interviewer once asked Mascis is he felt any empathy for humanity. "No," was his reply.)

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But are they any good as a live act? I haven't seen them, so I can only say I have high hopes. The reviews are good, and their last show here, back in 2013, sold out.

It's also worth noting that these guys are masters of their instruments. Mascis made Rolling Stones list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, so watching him shred should be sweet.

I feel like lately New Zealand has been bombarded with 80s and 90s reunion acts – Boy George (although he ended up cancelling), the Vengaboys, the Monkees ... there's even a tour called "I Love the 90s" featuring the likes of Coolio and Vanilla Ice.

There's something kind of cynical about these acts – many of which totally ignored us at the height of their fame – cashing in on their hits of 20 or more years ago.

When Dinosaur Jr got back together in 2007, it could have been a similar story – another band who were big in the '90s getting back together because the money's run out. But these guys are the real deal. If you don't believe me, go and see them.

Dinosaur Jr play Auckland's The Studio on January 23.

 - Stuff

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