Boomkat Product Review:
Sebadoh's superb Bubble & Scrape gets a 15th anniversary edition, including previously unreleased alternate recordings and a great booklet filled with old artwork, photos and text written by the band themselves. The Sebadoh line-up back in 1993 was a little fractious, and this album would see Lou Barlow and Jason Lowenstein recording for the last time with Eric Gaffney. The three artists bring their own distinctive brands of writing to the table, with Barlow mired in the heartbreak of a relationship break-up and consequently writing ballads that by turns sound maudlin, embittered and defiant, Lowenstein honing his craft as a writer of hard-rocking bedroom punk songs and Gaffney just sounding like an absolute loon most of the time - something exemplified by the scrawled garage psychosis of 'Fantastic Disaster' or 'Elixir Is Zog'. Being an album that sounds as if there are three separate agendas at work, Bubble & Scrape seems even more unconventional and all-over-the-place now it's been extended. There are hitherto unheard recordings that should be regarded as essential listening for long-term Sebadoh fans, ranging from cassette demos (like the scratchy old rendition of 'Soul and Fire' that sees out the album) to sketched out noise emissions. A transitional, pivotal moment in the band's history, and one of the most notable works in the great '90s American indie rock canon, Bubble & Scrape should be regarded with a similar level of reverence as afforded to parallel recordings by contemporaries like Pavement and Sonic Youth.