“Blistering pysch-drenched instrumental jams from J Mascis and his stoner buddies” reads the sticker on the front of this debut record from Heavy Blanket, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know. In other words, it’s a collection of self-indulgent, onanistic, drug-inspired tunes centred around the noodling, fanciful, fuzzy fretwork of the long- and grey-haired Dinosaur Jr guitarist.
From the off, it’s clear that this isn’t a record with which to soothe hangovers nor play as lullabies to sleepy children – rather, it’s a series of gnarled, grotesque musical meanderings that lacerate brain cells with their angular, atonal arhythms. Mascis, as he demonstrated with last year’s sublime Several Shades Of Why solo album, is no stranger to subtlety or beauty; even some of his Dinosaur Jr solos are full of graceful melody, but they’re conspicuously absent here. Instead, Dr Marten’s Blues and Spit In The Eye caterwaul with an intentional aimlessness, as if lost deep in the vortex of Mascis’ stoned-out mind with no way of escape. It’s a brave – or very high – person that can listen all the way through these 37 challenging minutes. For the rest, small, intermittent doses are certainly advised.