The Breeders – “Divine Mascis” (Feat. J Mascis)
It’s been 30 years since cooler-than-hell alt-rock heroes the Breeders released their classic Last Splash, and that album still rings bells. You can hear its echoes on entire generations of fuzzed-out pop, and that’s presumably why the Breeders are opening some dates on Olivia Rodrigo’s upcoming tour. (They’ve also got shows coming up with Screaming Females, Foo Fighters, and Belly, whose leader Tanya Donnelly was an original Breeder. Quite a range!)
Later this week, the Breeders will release a 30th-anniversary edition of Last Splash with a few unearthed, previously unreleased tracks, and we’ve already posted “Go Man Go,” one of those songs. Now, the Breeders have also shared a very different version of their horny hit “Divine Hammer,” and this one features the Breeders teaming up with another underground-rock overlord who was on his way to mainstream rock stardom in that strange post-Nirvana moment.
1993, the year that the Breeders released Last Splash, was also the year that Dinosaur Jr. released their big breakout album Where You Been. Back when she was a Pixie, Kim Deal would’ve presumably come up playing the same Boston clubs as Dinosaur Jr. While they were working on Last Splash, the Breeders brought in Dino Jr. leader J Mascis to add his fuzzed-out guitar shredding to the track. Mascis surprised the band. He didn’t just play on their “Divine Hammer” tape; he also added swapped out the Deal sisters’ lead vocals for his own transcendently tired rasp.
Kelley Deal tells Uncut about it:
At the time, J Mascis was a guitar god… We sent him the tape to put guitar on, so when it came back and he’s got rid of our voices and just put his vocal on, we were like, “Wha?!” But it’s really cute. There’s a freshness to it, and it’s just so weird. I like his voice and the idiosyncratic way he sings and delivers lines. So I thought it was really neat.
Sabrina Nichols has directed a new video for this version of “Divine Hammer,” which has been retitled “Divine Mascis.” Below, watch that clip and check out the Breeders’ upcoming tour dates.
9/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Fillmore %
9/21 – Silver Spring, MD @ Fillmore %
9/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theater %
9/24 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues %
10/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort *
10/05 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center *
10/07 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall
10/08 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/13 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
10/15 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern #
10/20 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory #
10/22 – Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Library #
10/23 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield #
10/25 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount #
1/20 – Auckland, New Zealand @ Go Media Stadium *
1/24 – Christchurch, New Zealand @ Apollo Projects Stadium *
1/27 – Wellington, New Zealand @ Sky Stadium
4/05-06 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden ^
4/08-09 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden ^
8/13-14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum ^
8/16-17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum ^
% with Screaming Females
* with Foo Fighters
# with Belly
^ with Olivia Rodrigo
Last Splash (The 30th Anniversary Original Analog Edition) is out 9/22 via 4AD. Pre-order it here.