Sebadoh - Harmacy

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1997-10-20

Lou Barlow set up Sebadoh after he acrimoniously split from uber-grunge stoners Dinosaur Jr at the end of the 1980s. His new band was more soul-searching than J Mascis's dirty lullaby troupe, but he still maintained a fascination with lo-fi, and the effects that can be gained from less, not more, production. This, Sebadoh's eighth LP (the title comes from the cover photo--it shows the storefront of a pharmacy, with the "P" dropped off), finds Barlow in a happily blue mood, sounding pleasingly barren and lost, kind of like In Utero-era Cobain; his songwriting partner, Jason Lowenstein (who actually wrote 11 of the tracks here) shares the mood but proves a bit rawer in execution. Some tracks are slow and sweet ("On Fire", "Nothing Like You"), some rampant ("Mind Reader"), but all nineteen are understated and never self-indulgent. It's not an album that will become a best friend, but is one to cherish--it's mood summed up by the one-from-last track, "Weed not Speed". --Charlie Porter

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