My first impression, just to add more pointless quick reaction to the volumes and volumes of the same coursing through the internet.
It’s nice. The first half sounds like outtakes from Loveless, the second sounds like experiments fiddled with over the past twenty years. Even the experiments seem somewhat familiar, treading over ground people have explored while they were away. Maybe, as with their prior records, I’ll find it open up over time, revealing little moments of grandeur and surprise. There’s really nothing not to like if you enjoyed their earlier work.
However, like many a latter day return from artists whom I cherish, the gap in time may be one that the music — however fine — can never bridge. Dinosaur Jr. and Mission Of Burma have arguably put out some of their strongest material since reuniting, but I can’t raise my reaction to more than “nice” each time another album hits the shelves. They’re tied to a point in my life so strongly that hearing that sound returns me to that place and time, and their new songs, harkening back as they do, are not quite right. My mind doesn’t seem capable of reconciling those two conflicting inputs, and rejects the new as an anomaly. So time and again I return to the now “classic” work, and the new stays unloved and unprocessed on the shelf.
I hope that m b v is the exception to that mental quirk. I hope as I spend more time with it that it can carve a place in the here and now. But if not, I’ll always have the records that changed my life.