- Released: April 23, 1993
- Label: Sub Pop
Rolling Stone - p.964 stars out of 5
-- "BUBBLE & SCRAPE was a last gasp of wild, often disquieting abandon....17 blasts of beautiful bedlam."
Rolling Stone - 9/2/93, p.613.5 Stars (out of 5)
- "...while their sound may be obviously rock--and [BUBBLE AND SCRAPE] is nothin' but--it's still not obvious rock....Sebadoh don't believe in merely recycling their sources. Instead, they reinvent them..."
Spin - 5/93, p.83
Highly Recommended - "...primitive guitar strums glide along slow-throbbing basslines, with icy jams, occasional roars, and frequent moments of space and tranquility filling out the soundscape..."
Entertainment Weekly - 4/16/93, p.55
"...[Lou Barlow's] anguish is so palpable you just wanna give the songs a hug. Pass the lithium, but don't pass on a listen..." - Rating: B+
Q - 7/93, p.1003 Stars (out of 5)
- "...wanders through Dinosaur-styled emotive pleas to discordant punkiness and twee melodies....a fine, very personal collection with a tub full of hooks which you'll find hard to explain the potent beauty of to disapproving musicologists..."
Uncut - p.1034 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t sounds richly classicist, with Lou Barlow's songs the very model of lovelorn orthodoxy..."
"Songs like 'Two Years Two Days' and 'Sister' still hold within their destructive heads some tender hooks."
Q (Magazine) - p.1573 stars out of 5
-- "[Lou Barlow] had begun to write moving songs of love and loss....Bassist Jason Loewenstein started to prove his worth, too, with the melodically astute 'Sixteen'."
NME (Magazine) - 8/12/00, p.28Ranked #9
in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums".
NME (Magazine) - 5/1/93, p.348 (out of 10)
- "...BUBBLE AND SCRAPE is alive with the possibility of love and the mournful conviction that love is doomed...."
Clash (magazine) (p.116) - "[S]ound collages and elegiac acoustic laments....BUBBLE AND SCRAPE was perhaps their greatest artistic achievement."
- 1.Soul and Fire
- 2.Two Years Two Days
- 3.Telecosmic Alchemy
- 4.Fantastic Disaster
- 5.Happily Divided
- 8.Sacred Attention
- 9.Elixir Is Zog
- 10.Emma Get Wild
- 13.Forced Love
- 14.No Way Out
- 15.Bouquet For a Siren
- 16.Think (Let Tomorrow Bee)
Sebadoh: Eric Gaffney (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, bass, drums, samples); Jason Lowenstein (vocals, guitar, bass, drums); Lou Barlow (vocals, guitar, bass).
Additional personnel: Sean Carmody (vocals).
Engineers include: Bob Weston, Brian Fellows, Paul McNamara.
Personnel: Eric Gaffney (vocals, guitar, harp, keyboards, drums); Lou Barlow (vocals, guitar); Seana Carmody (vocals).
Recording information: Cellar Sound; Slaughterhouse.
This mainstay of '90s indie rock didn't manage a consistently listenable record until their fourth try in 1993, two years after Nevermind, so the youth were going gaga over grunge. (Fortunately for the trio, this album enticed Sub Pop, a bigger label than the penny-pinching Homestead; its superior sound quality and marketing helped gain a larger audience, anyway.) Recorded in a slaughterhouse, Bubble & Scrape took 1991's III's improved focus and spread it over a whole LP. That's impressive, given that founder/drummer Eric Gaffney was barely present and would soon quit (until 2007's reunion tour). Good thing bassist Jason Lowenstein shouldered a greater load, writing and singing equal to ex-Dinosaur Jr. staple Lou Barlow, who himself was coming into his own. Gaffney still contributes six atonal-racket, anti-pop Sonic Youth-like numbers (welcome variety), but Lowenstein and Barlow demonstrate an abiding jones for bitingly catchy passages. In particular, for every "Sacred Attention" Barlow offers in the mode of III's hot "The Freed Pig," he now sprinkles lovelorn folk-ditty laments, such as the opening, gripping "Soul and Fire." Meanwhile Lowenstein's "Happily Divided" and "Sixteen" proffer loud, hard adrenalin pop. Bubble & Scrape thus points toward greater brilliance: Gaffney's superior successor Bob Fay would kick 1994's Bakesale and 1996's Harmacy into gear, earning nearly universal critical kudos. But start here! [The 2008 reissue adds 15 demos and studio tracks, including a B-side cover of Maumee, Ohio thrashers the Necros' "Reject."] ~ Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover