The much ballyhoo'd resurrection of the original Dino lineup a few years ago — with bassist/crybaby Lou Barlow and laconic-to-the-point-of-sometimes-seeming-retarded-or-maybe-dead frontman J Mascis burying the axe — saw the faithful turn ecstatic at the dropping of '07's Beyond. But, see, here's the deal: for anyone who has followed Mascis all along, that record and this new one are in many ways indistinguishable from anything he's done since 1991's post-Barlow Green Mind. Meaning that if you go into Farm looking for the anguish and tumult of, say, 1987's fuzzy and murky masterpiece You're Living All Over Me, what you will instead find is a well-recorded batch of relatively mid-tempo tunes packed with bitchin' solos, gnarly riffs, wistful vocals, and ambiguous lyrical platitudes.
Mascis's unique talents have ossified into a signature, so discerning any difference between this set of tunes and, say, his solo albums of the early oughts or latter-day Dinosaur Jr. albums is tough work. If, to you, that means more awesome Mascis crunchwork, then be psyched, because this record slays, the rocking is sloppy-yet-tight, and nothing on here would sound like a drag if tossed into a setlist amongst older classics.
If, however, you were expecting to be magically whisked away to the late '80s (the SST years), then you probably won't appreciate the snarlingly raw riffage and radly masterful arpeggios of, say, "Over It," or the shockingly metal chugging fit tossed in at the halfway point of epic stunner "I Don't Wanna Go There." And you'll definitely get hung up on the bouncy almost-funkiness of a tune like "See You" and box your ears in horror.