Breathe Out and Clapton Is(n’t) God

J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr recently revealed a list of his favourite guitarists recently. The constituents were niche figures, to say the least. It’s not your usual Hendrix/Clapton/Van Halen snooze-fest, for which we can all be grateful, if a little puzzled.

But what else did you expect from a man who has spent a career scrabbling left when everyone else plodded right? If a new band were to follow his example, piling on one devastatingly entropic riff after the other, he’d probably start making Witch House.

If Breathe Out are anything to go by, J Mascis better start learning how to play old Industrial and Goth records at half-speed, because they have managed to capture the same flaccid noise/fuzz-bluster with pin-point accuracy.

Songs like Green Milk owe much of their appeal to the carefully free-wheeling nature of the noise itself; which is both a rarity and also a delicate balancing act between ear-shredding stupidity and joyful abandon.

Sure, the song is a good one, but it draws gut feeling from its listeners via sonic obtusity as much as it draws pleasure from melody. This makes the song something to behold and enjoy on slightly different merits, all whilst remaining within your comfort zone. Clever.


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