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III (Bonus Version)

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Album Review

Along with Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted, Sebadoh III is one of the cornerstones of '90s indie rock, establishing the dubious lo-fi style as a credible subgenre. Though the recording techniques give the album a distinctive, hazy atmosphere, the music itself is fascinating. Divided between contributions from Lou Barlow, Eric Gaffney, and Jason Loewenstein, Sebadoh III doesn't necessarily offer a coherent listen. Instead, it's a variety of unexpected detours, with each track offering something different from what preceded. Barlow immediately distinguishes himself with his folky acoustic musings, which not only have sensitivity to spare, but also strong melodies. Gaffney, on the other hand, consigns himself to the role of hardcore noise rocker, often with varying results. Loewenstein falls between the two extremes, acting as a bridge between the two songwriters. With such a variety of styles and sounds, Sebadoh III is a kaleidoscopic summation of various American underground rock genres of the '80s, as well as a launching pad for the introspective obsessions of '90s indie rock.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Amherst, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As much a collective of musicians as a band, Sebadoh was the quintessential lo-fi band of the '90s. Formed by singer/songwriter Lou Barlow while he was the bassist for Dinosaur Jr. in the late '80s, Sebadoh's music was a virtual catalog of '80s alternative rock and '90s indie rock, featuring everything from jangle pop to noise-rock experimentalism. After being kicked out of Dinosaur in 1989, Barlow turned his attention toward Sebadoh, a home-recording project that he and drummer/songwriter Eric Gaffney...
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