J Mascis is renowned throughout the world of music for his fantastic guitar artistry in the band Dinosaur Jr. and numerous other groups such as Witch and Deep Wound. His solo career also has a serious level of respect that his talent and continuous work ethic commandeers, and after three decades of musical experience his strength in creation only continues to build, landing him on both Spin and Rolling Stone’s lists of the top 100 guitarists of all time.
Currently releasing on Sub Pop Records, Mascis has enjoyed six solid solo full length releases. His latest recording, “Fade Into You,” is not a full length nor even an Extended Play, but it is instead a two song 7” release composed of acoustic numbers “Fade Into You” and “Outside Eye.” Both songs show serious and passionate writing that helps one understand the introspective look curated by the creator.
“Fade Into You” is the sort of acoustic number one would seem to expect in a post-conversation judgment with Mascis: it is quiet, somewhat mumbling, yet maintains a presence that somehow has urgency and force. There is an unspoken respect in the wistfulness of the track, the sort that keeps one coming back to take an extra peek into a formerly skipped over corner of this little world. The transit in concept between this and the latter song make for a very interesting listen. I recommend listening to the album backwards just as much as forwards to really get a grip on the flow between these certainly deep cuts.
While “Fade Into You” is by no means even remotely forgetful, the real shining star here is “Outside Eye,” the latter song on this 7” release. The moody, bent-up power of Mascis’ voice is scraping past here on the tracks of the airy, building guitar layers. The stacks of musical bedrock provide the vocal melodies a place to dance and perform quite well within the spectrum of acoustic songwriting that is so clearly seen in Mascis’ anthology, something that can clearly be seen in his live performances.
This release, however short, is a regular marvel. It continues the stream of art that has allowed Mascis to be understood as a powerful figure behind the glasses and low voice, showing the intense power of introspection and a serious and momentous work ethic.
Pick up the release on J Mascis’ Bandcamp or on iTunes.