No one will ever understand how much Sebadoh, and the album III truly meant to me when I was 16 years old. Lou Barlow’s (originally from Dinosaur Jr.) heart-aching acoustic pleas for love intermingled with Eric Gaffney’s punk explosions –and it was blissful. The copy I had growing up was a cassette copy that my friend Jessica had made for me (it had Bubble & Scrape on the other side, an equally brilliant album) and I wore the tape down to the point where my favorite songs sounded warped because of overuse. The tape lived in my car, it was sometimes my only friend on long, late night drives, and lines like “Make it easy and I’ll hold it against you/ I’m on a string dangling right in front of you/ make it hard and I’ll run away/ keep tomorrow while I keep today” (from “truly great thing”) were the soundtrack to my manically-depressed teenage years.
At some point over the years, that tape got lost and I never got around to buying a new copy. Last year, Domino Records reissued the classic indie rock masterpiece and threw in a bonus disc that includes the infamously hard-to-find Gimme Indie Rock EP and outtakes from III. Truthfully, I haven’t even absorbed disc two yet, I’m still stuck on “repeat,” reliving a decade and some change that’s past since I last fell in love with Sebadoh.
Forget Pavement, forget Guided By Voices, forget all of the indie rock bands who are championed today as being the predecessors to modern indie acts like Death Cab For Cutie, Iron & Wine and Bright Eyes. Sebadoh is perhaps the most underrated band from the decade that pushed Alternative into the mainstream.
This reissue is just a taste. The band is back together and about to tour. If you missed them the first time around, don’t make the same mistake twice.