THEN: Sebadoh's eighth album and their fourth for Sub Pop, saw the Massachusetts (rotating) 3 piece pick-up the succesful formula of its preceeding release, Bakesale. That 1994 smash reached the dizzy heights of number 40 in the UK albums chart, thanks largely to toning down some of the more off-the-wall ideas that marked earlier records and focusing on a more consistent sound, with more emphasis on 'songs'. Harmacy picked up that baton and as a result (and perhaps inevitably) was the band's most mature release at the time.
NOW: More mature maybe, but that's not to say the imagination and slight eccentricity that has secured Sebadoh an intensly loyal fanbase (guilty) is not present here. With songwriting duties split largely evenly between Lou Barlow and Jason Lowenstein, it weaves and bobs at differing pace; from the jaunty, effortless pop (Ocean / Can't Give Up) 3 chord punk (I Smell A Rat) rocking instrumentals (Sforzando! / Hillbilly 2) and painstaking love song (Willing To Wait) all held together with a tighter production than previous releases. Basically, Harmacy sits comfortably in a formidable canon of releases from these indie rock legends.
SUB POP SAYS: "Since each member of Sebadoh writes songs, their sound can be very different from one song to the next. Where once we heard three voice screaming at once, now they talk in harmony"
KILLER TRACK: Always tricky to pick a killer from the mixed bag that is a Sebadoh record, but of the nineteen here and in the interests of fairness I'll go for (Jason's) Mindreader and (Lou's) Ocean.
NEXT: 1997 - Pidgeonhed - The Full Sentence