2, 4, 6, 8 We Refuse To Integrate

The band has another new drummer, but Sebadoh's nerve-racked song remains the same. No spontaneous inner healings or sudden, emotional growth spurts threaten to close the wound that bleeds out inventive pop gems. This isn't the type of band that evolves — or needs to evolve, for that matter. But there has been one change. Jason Loewenstein and Lou Barlow, the manic and the depressive of Sebadoh, respectively, have often left listeners with two choices: To shift gears from track to track — between Barlow's jilted-heart confessions and Loewenstein's bashing about punk rock noise — or to simply hit skip to hear all the sad songs in one sitting. On The Sebadoh, however, the two are more integrated than ever. "Flame" is all about balance and symmetry, as is most of the record. It moves in a maze of cracking intensity, smooth melodies, sudden stops, scratchy percussion and stormy guitar. Is anything lost in the new, more cohesive mix? No, and especially not the listener.

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