J Mascis

Several Shades Of Why

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First ever studio acoustic album from Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis.

In the quarter century since he founded Dinosaur (Jr), J Mascis has created some of the era’s signature songs, albums and styles. The laconically-based roar of his guitar, drums and vocals have driven a long string of bands - Deep Wound, Dinosaur Jr, Gobblehoof, Velvet Monkeys, The Fog, Witch, Sweet Apple - and he has guested on innumerable sessions.

But "Several Shades Of Why", recorded at Amherst, Massachusetts’ Bisquiteen Studios, is J’s first solo studio record, and it is an album of incredible beauty, performed with a delicacy not always associated with his work. Nearly all acoustic, "Several Shades Of Why" was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (longtime collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band Of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer / songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark.


Andy says: It was about time he turned down the volume a bit, and with his songwriting fully restored to its former glory, as evidenced on his last (and so loud it had to be re-mastered quieter!) record, now was the right time to do it. Excellent.

David says: When you’re renowned the world over for immediately identifiable, ear-shredding, guitar solos and having pretty much nothing to say about pretty much - well, pretty much everything really, then releasing a solo, acoustic album is probably the only thing you could do as an artist to both confuse and confound your audience in equal measure. For 26 years Mascis has been happy to let his guitar do the talking and who can blame him? There are very few guitarists who can lay claim to so easily a recognizable style and sound, making the decision to turn down the volume from 11 and let his voice be heard, all the more inspired. His weathered, campfire slacker drawl has a delicate compassion that has rarely, if ever, survived the sonic onslaught that is a Dinosaur Jnr album and the guitar playing too, rejoices in its new found simplicity making “Several Shades Of Why” the surprise record of 2011.


1. Listen To Me
2. Several Shades Of Why
3. Not Enough
4. Very Nervous And Love
5. Is It Done
6. Make It Right
7. Where Are You
8. Too Deep
9. Can I
10. What Happened

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