Sebadoh | 19/01/11

Image: Sebadoh

Following on from the recent release of Domino’s Royal Trux reissues, we’re continuing to excavate some of the 90s most influential, often underrated music with the reissue release of ‘Bakesale’ by Sebadoh, fully remastered and available from 4th April 2011.

Originally released in 1994, ‘Bakesale’ was a turning point for Sebadoh, making a break from the free-flow experimentalism that defined ‘Sebadoh III’ and the wired, schizophrenic sounds of ‘Bubble And Scrape’ to deliver what could be called their “ big pop moment”. Bringing in new drummer, Bob Fay, principal songwriters Lou Barlow and Jason Lowenstein concocted a masterpiece of refined, concise songwriting that came with that all important frayed and slightly worn vibe that was so intrinsic to Sebadoh’s sound.

Sebadoh were known throughout the 90s for being one of the most unpredictable bands on the scene, but with the arrival of ‘Bakesale’ it seemed as if some kind of harmony had begun to filter into their world. Thankfully though, despite presenting themselves at their most polished and tidy, Sebadoh never wore down their edges into nothingness, and the rawness was maintained constituting one of indie rocks greatest break-up records.

The exuberant but tense rush of License To Confuse, Magnet’s Coil, Skull and Rebound show Barlow’s voice at its sweetest; while Careful, Not Too Amused, and Drama Mine signified a new accessibility in Lowenstein’s songs that ensure that he and Fay were now operating on equal terms. In between is Bob Fay’s Temptation Tide, which in the manner of Sebadoh’s ultra-democratic modus operandi featured the vocals of his partner Anne Slinn. Comprising of fifteen tracks in just over 40 minutes Bakesale is a blur of confession and melody concluding with Together or Alone, one of Barlow’s most vulnerable and tender moments of self-doubt.

What followed the release of ‘Bakesale’ was Sebadoh’s first Top 40 position in the UK album chart and a smartening up of the band’s image for MTV in the US. For anyone who’d followed Sebadoh from the beginning it should have come as no surprise when Sebadoh naturally shunned the world of high-end success. ‘Bakesale’ simply exists as a record that represents a time and a place when American lo-fi came of age, and it captures the atmosphere of the mid 90s in a way few other records ever could. If you need convincing take a look at their video for 'Skull' which practically makes you want to weep for a time when MTV actually played music videos.

Bakesale will be re-released by Domino on Monday the 4th of April on double CD (RewigCD76) and via digital download (Rewig76D). The album features a bonus disc containing all singles, eps and rarities from the Bakesale period lovingly compiled by Lou and Jason.

Pre-order 'Bakesale' here

The tracklisting is as follows:


1 License To Confuse
2 Careful
3 Magnet's Coil
4 Not A Friend
5 Not Too Amused
6 Dreams
7 Skull
8 Got It
9 S. Soup
10 Give Up
11 Rebound
12 Mystery Man
13 Temptation Tide
14 Drama Mine
15 Together Or Alone

Bonus disc

1 MOR backlash
2 Not a friend
3 Foreground
4 40203
5 Mystery Man
6 Drumstick Jumble
7 Lime kiln
8 Fancy-ass / Destitute
9 Perfect Way
10 Give The Drummer Some
11 Cementville
12 Social Medicine
13 On Fire (acoustic)
14 Magnet's Coil (acoustic)
15 Rebound (acoustic)
16 Punching Myself In The Face Repeatedly, Publicly
17 Sing Something / Plate Of Hatred
18 III Screams (wet synth mix)
19 Monsoon
20 Rainbow Farm
21 Hank Williams
22 Careful
23 Dramamine
24 Not Too Amused
25 Shit Soup