"Freak Scene" is a song by American alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr., the opening track on the group's third studio album Bug (1988). Written and produced by frontman J Mascis, the song was recorded at Fort Apache Studios by engineers Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade. "Freak Scene" was released as a single on SST Records in the United States and was also Dinosaur Jr.'s first release on Blast First in the United Kingdom. The band also made a music video to promote the single.
Music journalist Everett True writes that "Freak Scene" "invented the slacker generation. J. plays the guitar like he skis: effortlessly and fully in control. The song slows down, catches on fire, whispers sweet harmony and then starts blowing a tornado. 'So fucked ...you'd see it,' J. sings with heavy resignation ... 'Don't let me fuck up will you?' J. pleads, helpless in his slumber. 'Because when I need a friend, it's still you.'"
"Freak Scene" is rated as one of the best songs by Dinosaur Jr. In his review of Bug, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called the track "the masterpiece of the record, . . . a surprisingly catchy song encapsulating the appeal and pitfalls of indie rock within three minutes." Jess Harvell of Pitchfork believes "'Freak Scene' is probably indie rock's greatest guitar performance and the band's greatest pop song, somehow finding room for Psychedelic Furs jangle, Edge-style ascending harmonies, Eddie Van Halen in the drunk tank, pickled country, and a cherry on top in three and a half minutes without feeling at all cluttered." The single reached number seven in the UK Indie Chart, and spent 12 weeks on the chart in total.Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980 - 1989. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4. p. 66.
"Freak Scene" would eventually be covered by pop-punk band Blink-182 on their debut demo Flyswatter.
- Category: 1988 singles
- Category: 1988 songs
- Category: Dinosaur Jr. songs
- Category: Songs written by J Mascis
- album: Bug (Dinosaur Jr. album)
- genre: Alternative rock
- genre: Noise rock
- musicalArtist: Dinosaur Jr.
- musicalBand: Dinosaur Jr.
- performer: Dinosaur Jr
- producer: J Mascis
- record label: SST Records
- recordLabel: SST Records
- recordedIn: Fort Apache Studios
- subsequentWork: Just Like Heaven (song)
- writer: J Mascis