Classic Album Review: III

Artist: Sebadoh
Full Title: III
Year: 1991
Label: Homestead
Grade: A-
Tracks:
1) The Freed Pig- 9
2) Sickles and Hammers (Minutemen)- 7
3) Total Peace- 8/9
4) Violet Execution- 9
5) Scars, Four Eyes- 9
6) Truly Great Thing- 10, Best Sebadoh Track, Hands Down!
7) Kath- 8
8) Perverted World- 8/9
9) Wonderful, Wonderful- 8
10) Limb By Limb- 8
11) Smoke A Bowl- 7/8
12) Black-Haired Gurl- 9
13) Hoppin Up and Down- 8
14) Supernatural Force- 8
15) Rockstar- 9
16) Downmind- 7
17) Renaissance Man- 8
18) God Told Me- 8
19) Holy Picture- 8
20) Hassle- 8
21) No Different- 8
22) Spoiled- 10
23) As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger- 9

Comments: This album is the definition of Lo-Fi! This is just about as low as it gets. We hear very raw recordings of what some slick shit would masacre into a clean, traditional pop song. Not Sebadoh! This enormously influential group/album unleash a lengthy LP of noisy, loud, quiet, and everything in between sounding numbers. Singer/Guitarist, Lou Barlow (formerly, at the time, now presently, of Dinosaur Jr) and crew utilized a Portastudio cassette tape recorder to achieve this distinct, lo-fi sound and it absolutely gives the album a certain feel/vibe. I’ll admit, this is the kind of record, you don’t listen to track by track over an over again, but there is much to be appreciated here. With that being said, there are many notable tracks. From the get go, “The Freed Pig,” is rather catchy and serves as a memorable opener. “Violet Execution,” “Scars, Four Eye,” and others continue in this fashion. Then, you have your bizzarre, quiet, incredibly lo-fi tunes in “Total Peace,” “Kath,” “Smoke A Bowl,” and several others. Lastly, there’s the “low pop” songs, as I have dubbed them lol. Two strongly stand out and thefore I have granted them the highest of scores, with a 10. First, we have “Truly Great Thing.” One of the most passionate, yet simple songs I have ever heard. First thing that came to my noggin, THIS IS A FUCKING ELLIOT SMITH SONG! Seriously, this sounds just like ES. Being a fan of him, this works very well. You could say, it is a truly great thing ;) Secondly, we have the classic, “Spoiled,” as seen/heard in Larry Clark’s disturbing film, Kids. If I was asked to point to the best example of Sebadoh’s lo-fi style, I would have to place the Burger King hat on “Spoiled”‘s little dome. The final track, “As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger,” showcases Barlow’s wide vocal range: from line to line he SCREAMS and then softly sings, back and forth. It’s also a very humorous ditty, my favorite line is, “EVEN MY GRANDMOTHER LOVES TO GET HIGH!” He shouts this with all his might. Overall, some songs are better than others, but it is worthy of at least one listen and has become a respectable addition to my record collection.

Chris

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