Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sebadoh - Harmacy


OK, not what I expected.  For some reason I'd equated Sebadoh in my head with another shouty-boy-band.  But lo, as I listened, I was occasionally delighted by what I heard.  OK, it does on occasion move across to the harder-edged sound.  But generally it's perfectly (to me) acceptable, and beautifully mixed music.  Which wasn't what I was expecting when I'd read these guys were proponents of the "lo-fi" sound I have previously dissed.  At length.  (YourZ sez: I'm not surprised you like this - you gave Pavement a 'Turn It Up' too.)

So maybe I'll gingerly dip into some of their earlier albums.  And hopefully I won't be disappointed.



There was a time when I thought Sebadoh were the best band in the world.  I have a copy of their previous album, the classic Bakesale, that's been played so much, the cover is worn and falling apart.  They toured Australia and played a blistering set at an inner city venue that has since been closed and torn down (no reflection on them, of course).

Even after getting Harmacy, I continued to play the forerunner more than I ever did this.  But this isn't to say this isn't an awesome album, 'cause it is.  The leap from Barlow-voiced numbers to the Loewenstein blasts of punk is fabulous, along with the instrumentals (particularly Sforzando! - written by drummer Bob Fay).

It is the strength of both Loewenstein and Barlow's song writing that is really highlighted here, along with the former's trust of the latter to take the lead on his songs.  It really shows a band working to its fullest capacity. But it's really the Barlow penned numbers that shine through.  His heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics along with the sad-sack delivery is what spoke to the younger man back then, still trying to find his feet through his heart and failing miserably.  Thankfully, I've never suffered depression but I've felt it vicariously through people such as Lou Barlow.  Just listen to Too Pure (played here at the show I attended all those years ago) and I think you'll understand what I'm on about.


For more information:

In our collection we also have Bakesale and Bubble & Scrape

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