Heavy Blanket ‘Heavy Blanket’ – album review

Heavy Blanket ‘Heavy Blanket’ (Outer Battery Records)
CD/DL
Released Monday 14th May 2012

A new (old) J. Mascis project, Heavy Blanket have just releases a self-titled album…

Blame it on nostalgia. After all, the music world seems to be ablaze with nineties throwbacks, echoed in reissues of just about every alt-chart topper of the 1990s. Hell, I danced in a sea of flannel at a Lemonheads gig just weeks ago! So who am I to deny my excitement for this cross-generational enthusiasm for yesteryear? I embrace nostalgia, and I’ll be darned if I deny my anxiousness regarding J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr. fame) Heavy Blanket project.

Here’s a little exposition: According to J Mascis’ website, Heavy Blanket was born in the mid-80s to three high school students – Mascis, along with the colorfully-named Johnny Pancake and Pete Cougar – who started the project after being dismissed from marching band for smoking weed out of a tuba. Injury, crime and Dinosaur Jr. foiled Heavy Blanket’s plans of becoming a formative band, but when Mascis allegedly ran into Mr. Pancake last year, plans to resurrect the project were put into motion.

The result is mostly reaffirmation of Mascis’ incredible guitar playing skills. The record opens with a heavy number, Galloping Toward the Unknown: a four-minute romp that offers punchy guitars with fuzzy reverb and explosive gain. What follows are a series of jams that teeter on being either incredibly inspiring or just plain overwhelming.

The record has little structure. There are no cohesive melodies, no hooks, no lyrics, and nothing but drums and bass accompanying Mascis’ guitar. The riffs are devastatingly good, but the consistent jam feels overpowering at times. In any case, Heavy Blanket is a must-have for every diehard Mascis fan and/or people looking for a rowdy forty minutes of heavy, riff-driven music. Prospective guitar heroes: take some notes. If there’s one thing we can take away from Heavy Blanket, it’s that J Mascis was born to shred.

Highlights of the record include Blockheads and Dr. Marten’s Blues. (See Above).

For more information check out J. Mascis’s website here.

All words Maren Mcglashan.

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