· 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.