Posted on September 28th, 2013 (10:14 am) by Jesse Clark

I can picture myself at the age I am now (18) living in the year I was born (1994), dressed in jeans and a flannel, smoking my last cigarette, and listening to Bakesale through my Walkman. Now fast-forward to 2013, fourteen years after their last record, Sebadoh comes out with their eighth studio effort Defend Yourself. The indie trio picks up right where they left off and with the clever addition of Bob D’Amico on drums who rejuvenates an already rejuvenated band.

The first to hear the new self-produced, self-recorded album were customers at eleven of the band’s favorite record stores across the country during listening parties. After going through a rough divorce, songwriter Lou Barlow had plenty of new ideas and lyrics for songs reflecting on his relationship with his wife of twenty-five years. Now put together with his odd guitar tunings and chord progressions, it makes for a great lo-fi album from a band which is stuck twenty years behind. But everyone’s got a bit of nostalgia for the '90s so why not let Sebadoh give us our fill.

Defend Yourself is an honest look at a failed relationship and a broken heart. The album is filled with eerie guitar hooks and heart-stopping percussion. From start to finish, the record sounds like a complete blast from the past. The songs are raw and minimalistic with an experimental edge to them, reminiscent of Pixies and The Meat Puppets. Existential lyrics and heavy melodies are just some of the things to look forward to on this LP. The threesome are back on the horse with high hopes and great expectations to keep their name in our hearts.

Drums come crashing in after a light-hearted intro in “I Will” making for an awesome album opener. Jason Loewenstein’s bass playing can be compared to the likeness of a less versatile John Paul Jones on “Beat” giving it a heavy grunge sound. Barlow’s vocals and spacey guitar playing relies D’Amico’s drumming, all of which are confident and build off each other. “Oxygen” is the pop song off the album, which isn’t saying much because it rocks just as hard as the rest of the tracks off the album. Each track is like a frenzy in your ears that doesn’t relent until you’ve accepted that Sebadoh are kings of lo-fi again.

Track Listing:
1. I Will
2. Love You Here
3. Beat
4. Defend Yourself
5. Oxygen
6. Once
7. Inquiries
8. State of Mine
9. Final Days
10. Can't Depend
11. Let It Out
12. Listen
13. Separate

Sebadoh - Defend Yourself, indie, lo-fi,
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

71 / 100
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