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III (or Sebadoh III) is the third album by the American indie rock band Sebadoh. It was released by Homestead Records in 1991.

Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 16, 1991
RecordedLate March 1991 at Fort Apache Studios and at home.
LabelHomestead (original release)
Domino (2006 reissue)
ProducerSean Slade
Sebadoh chronology
The Freed Weed
Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock
2006 Reissue album cover
III was reissued with the Gimme Indie Rock EP included as a bonus disc in 2006
III was reissued with the Gimme Indie Rock EP included as a bonus disc in 2006

III was the first full length Sebadoh album to feature Jason Loewenstein, who joined the band's two founding members Lou Barlow and Eric Gaffney in 1989, and debuted on the "Gimme Indie Rock" single earlier that year.

The album cover features a childhood photograph taken by Gaffney.[1]



The album was recorded for US$1,300.[1] It was recorded at Fort Apache Studios, then located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, and at home, during the last two weeks of March 1991.


III features songwriting contributions from all three band members, with folky, melodic material by Barlow, open-tuned drone acoustic, and noisy hardcore rock by Gaffney, and songs that bridged the gap between those extremes by Loewenstein.[2] It opens with the electric "The Freed Pig," an attack by Barlow on his ex-bandmate J. Mascis, who kicked him out from his former band Dinosaur Jr. in 1989.[3]

In an interview with Chairs Missing Fanzine in April 1991, Barlow explained that the album contained "Every type [of music] that we're capable of playing but not like, 'Well, here's our funk song and here's our folk song.' It's just every facet of our power is exercised to its fullest on the record ... There's a lot of electric stuff - a lot of 4-track stuff. It's a really balanced LP. This one is truly a group effort."[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]
The A.V. ClubA−[4]
Christgau's Consumer Guide [5]
Drowned in Sound9/10[6]
Rolling Stone     [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[9]

III was released a month before Nirvana's major label debut, Nevermind, which brought alternative rock to the mainstream. In the wake of Nirvana's breakthrough, many other acts who emerged from the 1980s independent music scene, but remained signed to independent record labels, achieved modest success. Along with Pavement's 1992 debut Slanted and Enchanted, III is considered one of the "cornerstones of 90s indie rock," and helped establish the lo-fi subgenre.[2] The album has been included in various best-of lists in the years since its release, including Alternative Press' "Top 99 of '85–'99" in 1995 (#85) and Spin's "Top 90 Albums of the 90's" in 1999 (#41).

AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the "sensitivity" and "strong melodies" of Barlow's acoustic material, and called the album "a kaleidoscopic summation of various American underground rock genres of the '80s, as well as a launching pad for the introspective obsessions of '90s indie rock."[2] Upon its reissue in 2006, Brandon Stosuy of Pitchfork wrote that "even after taking a step back from III it still deserves every last bit of praise. Sebadoh followed this effort with other fine moments; nowhere else did they so perfectly meld rickety folk, tin-can guitar, Shrimper-style ambiance, feedbacking "power sludge," eccentric compositional constructions, carcinogenic hooks, and poetic sincerity."[3]

"The Freed Pig" was covered by the American indie rock band The Breeders on the Head to Toe EP in 1994.

"Spoiled" was re-released on the Kids soundtrack in 1995, and can be heard during the film's closing credits.


III was reissued by Domino Records in 2006, featuring a second disc of extra material and new liner notes. The bonus disc includes the "Gimme Indie Rock" EP in its entirety.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Lou Barlow unless otherwise stated.

  1. "The Freed Pig" – 3:08
  2. "Sickles and Hammers" (Boon, Watt) – 0:50
  3. "Total Peace" – 3:02
  4. "Violet Execution" – 3:57 (Eric Gaffney)
  5. "Scars, Four Eyes" – 3:27 (Gaffney/Barlow)
  6. "Truly Great Thing" – 2:13
  7. "Kath" – 1:52
  8. "Perverted World" – 1:54
  9. "Wonderful, Wonderful" (Edwards, Raleigh) – 3:13
  10. "Limb by Limb" – 2:17 (Gaffney)
  11. "Smoke a Bowl" – 3:02 (Loewenstein)
  12. "Black-Haired Gurl" – 2:12 (Loewenstein)
  13. "Hoppin' Up and Down" – 3:16 (Loewenstein)
  14. "Supernatural Force" – 2:43 (Gaffney)
  15. "Rockstar" – 2:42
  16. "Downmind" – 1:31
  17. "Renaissance Man" – 2:19
  18. "God Told Me" – 1:09
  19. "Holy Picture" – 2:53 (Gaffney)
  20. "Hassle" – 3:30
  21. "No Different" – 2:20
  22. "Spoiled" – 3:03
  23. "As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger" – 6:49 (Gaffney)

Extra disc - "Gimme Indie Rock EP" (2006 reissue)Edit

All songs written by Eric Gaffney unless otherwise stated.

  1. "Gimme Indie Rock" (Barlow/Gaffney/Loewenstein)
  2. "Ride the Darker Wave" (Barlow)
  3. "Red Riding Good" (Barlow)
  4. "New King" (Loewenstein)
  5. "Calling Yog Soggoth"
  6. "Stored Up Wonder (supernatural force)"
  7. "Melting Wall (holy picture)"
  8. "Design"
  9. "Attention"
  10. "Stars For Eyes" (Gaffney/Barlow)
  11. "Unseen Waste"
  12. "Violet Execution (remix '04)"
  13. "As the World Turns"
  14. "Cranberry Bog" (Loewenstein/Gaffney)
  15. "The Devil's Reggae"
  16. "The Freed Pig (4-track)" (Barlow)
  17. "Never Jealous" (Barlow)
  18. "Showtape '91" (Barlow)


Additional personnel


  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2013-02-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "III – Sebadoh". AllMusic. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Stosuy, Brandon (August 7, 2006). "Sebadoh: III". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  4. ^ Murray, Noel (August 9, 2006). "Music in Brief". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Sebadoh: Sebadoh III". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  6. ^ Edwards, Tom (August 7, 2006). "Album Review: Sebadoh – III". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Hoard, Christian (October 17, 2006). "Sebadoh: III". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Sebadoh". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 723–24. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.