Here is the first solo album in 15 years from the 'other one' in Sebadoh. Whilst Lou Barlow always had his pop chops to hand, Loewenstein was a bit more ragged and out there and so it proves on this album of inventive grungy pop with hints of Beefheart in some of tangled guitar playing. Sebadoh fans, you need to be on board.
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Jason Loewenstein was always the most tangled member of Sebadoh. Where Lou Barlow’s songs were always slick and tuneful, Loewenstein had a more angled agenda and this carries on into his first solo album for 15 years. Fans of the sort of twisty Ameri-indie that Loewenstein is famed for will find much to enjoy here. He’s in bristling form aided by a tight-as-a-nut rhythm section, his gravely growly voice spewing out wordy songs with an intensity that belies someone who has been in the game for 25 years or so.
My favourite moment is the pulsating ‘Machinery’ with it’s catchy guitar hooks, that drift between filthy bass and powerful drums. A fine slice of dirty slacker music which showcases the smoother side of Loewenstein’s oevre. Elsewhere things are more gruesome with a grimy near live production and acres of distorted twirling guitars. The ghost of his main band haunts the record and is most evident on the excellent ‘Suspicious’ which has all the plaintive hooks you would expect but like the rest of the album it’s the enthusiastic performances which elevate the album above the more sedate indie rock sometime apologetically drifted out by the current generation of guitar slingers.
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