Sebadoh songwriters Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein are indie rock’s odd couple, the Nineties answer to Husker Du’s tag team of Grant Hart and Bob Mould.
Stylistically, they couldn’t be more different: Loewenstein stumbles into the room, tossing furniture around, while Barlow sulks in the corner and mutters about the damage. The Sebadoh, their seventh album, buzzes from the friction as they trade songs:
The acoustic strum of Barlow’s lovely "Tree" falls beneath the hacksaw riffs and lopsided rhythms of Loewenstein’s "Nick of Time"; the lunging bass and clattering cymbals of Loewenstein’s "Cuban" sink into the brooding undertow of Barlow’s "Sorry"; Barlow’s anxiety in "Weird" ("Paranoia’s contagious") answers Loewenstein’s desperation in "It’s All You" ("I’m trapped, I’m trapped").
What keeps The Sebadoh from flying apart is the no-frills production, which puts a premium on the three-way conversation among bass, guitar and Russ Pollard’s drums. It’s the sound of three people in a room, making the most of their differences.