With the success of the reformed and rejuvenated Dinosaur Jr contributing to Lou Barlow’s kids college fund, there couldn’t be a better time for him to dust off the carcass of his indie-rock project, Sebadoh. Fourteen years since they last recorded an album together, the Secret EP is the precursor to the trio’s upcoming album, Defend Yourself.
Barlow has plenty of grist for the mill for Secret since his recent separation from his wife and partner of 25 years. Keep The Boy Alive is the melodic slacker rock that has become the staple of Sebadoh records over the years. Barlow sounds wrung out during a tune that is appealing in the sloppiness of its attitude if not its execution.
Robert Pollard once declared that Jason Loewenstein is a wanker, but whether he was on the money or not, Loewenstein again makes his presence felt on Secret. The lanky multi-instrumentalist again offers up the more punk rock offering with the robust My Drugs, but it is the twangy I Don’t Mind which is the pick of his two contributions.
It may have been a long time between drinks for this grouping of indie rock royalty, yet the minimalist and modest Secret shows that Sebadoh hasn’t skipped a beat.