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- Bubble and Scrape: Expanded by Sebadoh
10/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 20th February 2016
“Bubble and Scrape” is probably my favourite Sebadoh album. I think Eric Gaffney and Jason Lowenstein contribute their best songs to this record, and to my mind it goes without saying that the Lou Barlow songs are great. It opens with the classic Barlow couplet of “Soul and Fire” and “Two Years Two Days”. Barlow described the latter as the best song he’s written. Eric Gaffney’s first contribution is the wonky masterpiece “Telescopic Alchemy” which rolls along like an out of control car. Things only get wonkier with “Fantastic Disaster”, another Gaffney number. His best songs on here however are “Emma Get Wild” with its Beefheart-esque intro and “Elixir is Zog” which sounds like the band are all playing a different song at the same time. It’s a cousin of “As The World Dies The Eyes Of God Grow Bigger” from this album’s predecessor, “III”, an off-key melodic verse followed by guttural screams. Jason Lowenstein’s first great contribution to Sebadoh comes in the shape of the mournful “Happily Divided” which is followed by one his best high-energy indie rock numbers in “Sister”. Lou Barlow gets top marks for “Cliché”, “Homemade”, “Forced Love” and “Think (Let Tomorrow Bee)”.
Despite three songwriters with different styles all contributing to this album, it sticks together well as one cohesive album. The difference between Lou Barlow’s sad love songs and Eric Gaffney’s twisted designs is bridged by Jason Lowenstien’s emergence as a songwriter.
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