In September, 1988, Dinosaur Jr released a single that just preceded their Bug album – which would be their 3rd album.
Freak Scene was a game changing record. The track was aired at all ‘alternative’ night clubs and it got something started. Although Dinosaur Jr would never top their 2nd album You’re Living All Over Me Freak Scene got noticed whereas their 2nd album just missed the radar.
Freak Scene came literally just before Mudhoney released Superfuzz Bigmuff and before Bleach by Nirvana by about 4 months. The single did not chart but it was noticed. The band were covered on Snub TV (BBC2) and the footage and music could be seen as being at the very core of what would become the ‘grunge’ scene.
In essence Freak Scene is a pop single, but it offeres more than just pop. The attitude, appearance and style of J Mascis kick-started the slacker generation I am aware of the irony of ‘kickstarting’ the slacker movement – but, well, it just did. Effortlessly catchy – yet wielding a powerful guitar sound somehow carrying the spirit of punk whilst nodding to a Neil Young style too.
Freak Scene isn’t fully given the credit for it’s timing and influence – so here’s a little seal of approval for what was, and still is – a great, great record…