Bakesale (Reissue)

By the time Sebadoh released their fifth album in 1994, Lou Barlow was a low-fi hero – a man who buried his melodies under noise and was loath to repeat a hook. Bakesale was where Barlow brightened up a bit: By no means slick, it's still leaps and bounds more accessible than even Sebadoh's previous LP, Bubble and Scrape. Despite some cacophony, some tunes are downright pretty (a fact highlighted by the acoustic and four-track versions of songs like "Magnet's Coil" and "Not a Friend" on this reissue's bonus disc). The sweetly hummable "Skull" even had a video on MTV. Barlow's new approach made for one of the best indie-rock albums in a year full of stellar ones – and Sebadoh's greatest work.

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From The Archives Issue 1134: July 7, 2011