Act Surprised

Sebadoh

Dangerbird, 2019

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/14/2019

On the second record of their reunion, Lou Barlow and company come roaring out of the gate with “Phantom,” a song that sounds like it would fit right at home with current college rock radio. It’s a brief, rocking track that makes you sit up and take notice. Songs and artists like this that really prove that guitars aren’t quite dead yet; you just have to dig the right holes to find them.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Celebrate The Void” is a slower track with some great drumming that picks up some speed to really bring it to life. There’s some overall decent stuff here, nothing straying too much from the established Sebadoh sound, just a little cleaner and a tad more pop-oriented. This is particularly the case on “See-Saw,” one of the best tracks here, a really earnest number worthy of multiple repeats. “Vacation” is another quick punk burst that works well and shows these guys haven’t lost a step.

“Stunned” is another amazing rocker that shows off how great this band is and how they’ve actually only gotten better since their ‘90s heyday. Not many a band can say that at this point in their career, but Sebadoh can. “Belief” is a bit slower but it still rocks and needs to be enjoyed along with just about every track here. “Sunshine” is a great ballad and yet another reason that this is one of the most surprising records I’ve heard this year. I went into this not expecting much, but the whole disc is fantastic and proof to not only me but the population at large that real rock music is still strong and alive.

The album’s title track is another strong winner; overall just another notch for a strong contender for one of the best albums of the year. It has to be said that Lou Barlow has been on a roll for the last couple of years, first with the most recent Dinosaur album and the classic “Goin’ Down,” but now this amazing Sebadoh record. The man has clearly got the skills to make music that is not only still relevant but powerful and cool at the same time.

Rating: A

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