16 August 2013

16th August - Sebadoh's III

Artist – Album: Sebadoh - III
Released:  16th August 1991
Sounds Like:  Sea change
Today I want you to celebrate with me dear readers; rejoice, for I have moved out of my old flat and in to a new one! Although there were many wonderful memories associated with the old place and we left it as amicably as can be expected from two such lovely people, it is quite a relief to be out of the flat that I have shared with my ex for the last two years (obviously she wasn’t my ex for the whole time, that would just be crazy), and into a new one with one of my best mates.

If I needed any reminder that good things can come from painful separation and new beginnings (I don’t), then Sebadoh’s III serves as a brilliant reminder. In 1989, J Mascis, the freewheeling guitar genius and leader of Dinosaur Jr kicked his bass player Lou Barlow out of the group after he had released a cassette by his side project Sebadoh. Barlow didn’t let it deter him however and he persevered with his other band. Two years later he released today’s album, one of the landmarks of the alternative rock/lo -fi movement of the early nineties and one that is still garnering acclaim twenty-plus years later.

You get the measure of the album after three tracks – the opening ‘The Freed Pig’ is a barnstorming slice of indie, with Dinosaur Jr-esque squealing guitars (and J Mascis skewering lyrics); ‘Sickles and Hammers’ is a short blast of corrosive punk; and, ‘Total Peace’ is quiet, brooding acoustic lo-fi rock. The album continues along similarly diverse lines ‘til its end, using that triumvirate of indie, punk and lo-fi as touchstones throughout. ‘Truly Great Thing’ is beautiful and contented, whilst ‘Limb by Limb’ is terrifyingly aggressive.

This morning, as I was reviewing this record (i.e. listening to it loudly), I woke my new housemate (sorry dude!). He came through blearly eyed and scantily clad in his dressing grown, and I prepared myself for a dressing down. Instead, he sat and enjoyed it with me, contributed his own viewpoints (for the record, ‘Kath’ reminded him of Willy Mason, whilst the zaniness of ‘Wonderful, Wonderful’ brought to mind Monty Python) and generally got on with things. You know what, kid? I think we’ll be just fine.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       The Freed Pig – 3:08
     2.       Sickles and Hammers – 0:50
     3.       Total Peace – 3:02
     4.       Violet Execution – 3:57 
     5.       Scars, Four Eyes – 3:27
     6.       Truly Great Thing – 2:13
     7.       Kath – 1:52
     8.       Perverted World – 1:54
     9.       Wonderful, Wonderful – 3:13
     10.   Limb by Limb – 2:17
     11.   Smoke a Bowl – 3:02
     12.   Black-Haired Gurl – 2:12
     13.   Hoppin’ Up and Down – 3:16
     14.   Supernatural Force – 2:43
     15.   Rockstar – 2:42
     16.   Downmind – 1:31
     17.   Renaissance Man – 2:19
     18.   God Told Me – 1:09
     19.   Holy Picture – 2:53
     20.   Hassle – 3:30
     21.   No Different – 2:20
     22.   Spoiled – 3:03
23.   As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger – 6:49

Listen to ‘The Freed Pig‘: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um7kFyLmrQI

Also released on the 16th August:
1994: Organized Konfusion – Stress: The Extinction Agenda

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