Film Review – Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.

J Mascis

Rising from the ashes of Deep Wound, a high school hardcore punk band from western Massachusetts, J Mascis and Lou Barlow formed Dinosaur Jr. in 1984. They were joined by Murph on drums and influenced by a shared love of slower heavy music. After releasing a couple of albums, they began to gain momentum in the late ‘80s and became part of the grunge scene during the next decade. Despite acrimony, a split, new faces and the later reformation of the original members, they still make music today.

Notwithstanding the fractious nature of their relationship, Dinosaur Jr. have released 12 studio albums, had their moment of fame when they signed for a major, but have retained their distinctive sound and almost chaotic musical style. Using insights from the band themselves, along with many of their peers, Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. charts their tumultuous journey. Taking no prisoners along the way.

Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. is a rough and ready portrait of three musicians who have always done things their own way. What shines through Philipp Reichenheim’s documentary is the great music. They’ve always been a fantastic live band, and that energy and anger transplants itself onto the screen. It’s an intelligent film that chooses its interviewees wisely, picking those who add to the story and not just celebrities for their fame. Sit back, strap in, and enjoy the ride.

Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. is released in UK cinemas on 1 October.

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