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J Mascis | Elastic Days

Dinosaur Jr.'s guitar hero stretches his legs a little on his latest rootsy solo outing.

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J Mascis has obviously dished up plenty of lead guitar heroism in his longtime day job with veteran indie-rock power trio Dinosaur Jr. And on some of his previous solo albums, he’s also unplugged his axe and let his acoustic freak flag flutter and flap. But he’s never integrated the two sides of his musical personality quite as seamlessly and effectively as he does on Elastic Days. While the dozen-track affair definitely and deliberately meanders along on the rootsier, acoustic and more introspective side of his musical road, the creaky-voiced Mascis isn’t shy about cutting loose and unspooling some of his piercing, distortion-free electric fretwork when it’s called for. And thankfully, it’s called for more than often enough to make this an engaging hybrid album that both sides of his fan base can savour. It’s far from his most ambitious disc — and by no means is it going to change the way you or anyone else thinks about Mascis — but even so, it’s still nice to see a dinosaur like J stretching his legs a little after all these decades.