1991, Music

Sebadoh III (1991)

Without having heard the two previous Sebadoh albums, and not being familiar enough with the evolution of home recording releases in the 1980s, I still feel confident in saying that I think this album is a pretty big deal; its influence on 1990s indie rock, indie folk and the lo-fi/bedroom recording movement in general is rather immense. Along with early Pavement, this record feels like the blueprint for so much American indie rock in the 90s and even well into this century.

There are two problems for me that keep it from being an absolute classic:
The first is the sheer length of this record (over 63 minutes long). Like so many bands reliant on home recordings, these guys don’t know how to edit themselves. Not all 23 of these songs should have been released, at least as this one record. (The crazy part is that it seems like they have since released bonus tracks!) I understand that this is part of the point of recording at home – and the charm, for some people – but releasing everything you recorded doesn’t do anything for me. It just makes me want the record to end earlier.

The other issue is that both Barlow and Lowenstein drastically improved as songwriters on later records. There just isn’t enough good material over the course of the hour.

So I don’t like this record particularly, and may never listen to it again. But I can’t lower the rating because it’s just way, way too influential.


  1. “The Freed Pig” – 3:08
  2. “Sickles and Hammers” (Boon, Watt) – 0:50
  3. “Total Peace” – 3:02
  4. “Violet Execution” – 3:57 (Eric Gaffney)
  5. “Scars, Four Eyes” – 3:27 (Gaffney/Barlow)
  6. “Truly Great Thing” – 2:13
  7. “Kath” – 1:52
  8. “Perverted World” – 1:54
  9. “Wonderful, Wonderful” (Edwards, Raleigh) – 3:13
  10. “Limb by Limb” – 2:17 (Gaffney)
  11. “Smoke a Bowl” – 3:02 (Loewenstein)
  12. “Black-Haired Gurl” – 2:12 (Loewenstein)
  13. “Hoppin’ Up and Down” – 3:16 (Loewenstein)
  14. “Supernatural Force” – 2:43 (Gaffney)
  15. “Rockstar” – 2:42
  16. “Downmind” – 1:31
  17. “Renaissance Man” – 2:19
  18. “God Told Me” – 1:09
  19. “Holy Picture” – 2:53 (Gaffney)
  20. “Hassle” – 3:30
  21. “No Different” – 2:20
  22. “Spoiled” – 3:03
  23. “As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger” – 6:49 (Gaffney)
  • Lou Barlow – vocals, guitar, bass, percussion
  • Eric Gaffney – vocals, guitar, drums
  • Jason Loewenstein – vocals, drums, guitar, bass

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