Sebadoh are synonymous with "lo-fi," the strain of indie rock that began at the outset of the '90s and challenged the idea of singing well, playing rehearsed music or recording properly. And the new Defend Yourself, their first album in 14 years, has their roughest production since 1994's Bakesale. But it's the songs that matter, not the production, and this band's best cuts have veered from 4-track blurriness ("Truly Great Thing," "Soul and Fire," "Not a Friend") to slicked-up anthems that didn't get enough credit ("On Fire," "Weird," the superb "Too Pure"). More respect was given to their divide of soft ("Together or Alone") and loud ("Mind Reader") and that's a whole other virtue they mastered in itself: the value of dynamics. So crank it up -- or dim the lights, as the case may be.
The Best of Sebadoh
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