Lou Barlow

Apocalypse Fetish EP

Joyful Noise

Dec 19, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Coming straight off of last year's sparse, harrowing, raw Brace the Wave, the new Apocalypse Fetish EP feels like an extension of the mood, vibe, and sound of that excellent, heartfelt, deeply personal LP. If Lou Barlow's songs on Sebadoh's last album (2013's overlooked Defend Yourself) dealt with the direct aftermath of his divorce, these songs delve even further into his feelings. From the opener "The Breeze" ("I always choose the ones I should run from..." "promises as empty as the breeze"), you know you're in for a bumpy road. In the last few years, Barlow has gotten divorced, remarried, and had a child, so clearly this reflects on his current music. Thankfully, it's not so personal that it isn't relatable enough to those with similar experiences and that is perhaps his greatest trick here. Not everything on here is of a personal nature, though. The title track is a rare protest song and an insightful, intelligent one at that, criticizing not only those who voted for our current President-elect, but the culture of fear, paranoia and rampant anti-intellectualism that led to that disastrous result. Overall, this EP is yet more proof that Barlow is one of America's finest singer/songwriters of the last 25-30 years and furthermore that he can be at his very best with minimal accompaniment (in this case, only accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and ukelele) completely raw and uncut. (www.loobiecore.com)

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