Originally released in 1991, Sebadoh's III album offers a fascinating snapshot of the combination of slacker self-loathing and musical ambition that comprised grunge-era American indie rock. It's there right from the opening track, Lou Barlow's "The Freed Pig", where he frets about being "Self-righteous but never right / So laid-back but so uptight / Destroying the patience to tolerate me / And all the negative spirit I bring": lines that summarise a generation as succinctly as anything written by Kurt Cobain. Already a sprawling 23-track collage of folk-rock confessionals, garage-rock thrashes and noise experiments, III is further expanded here with a second disc of demos, outtakes, murky cassette recordings and the Gimme Indie Rock! EP whose title track offers prescient commentary on an underground scene rapidly turning mainstream. They would go on to make more considered, "professional" albums later in the decade, but in its ramshackle enthusiasm, and the band's determination to ignore the disparity between their ambitions and their abilities, it's probably the definitive Sebadoh album, a big tangled ball of pot-head paranoia and fun.
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