Defend Yourself

  • Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Sep 17, 2013

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
Buy On
  1. Oct 30, 2013
    Separate--one of a few songs (along with the slightly annoying sludge march of Beat, the frenetic whimsy of Inquiries and the juddering instrumental Once) that falls just short of those huge expectations. But when this record hits the mark, it’s very good indeed.
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    The best that can be said of Defend Yourself is that it isn't embarrassing; they didn't lose the plot like the Pixies, and it's better than The Sebadoh simply because they got out of that L.A. studio and back to their roots. But it also doesn't add anything to the story or feel like it needs to exist.
  3. 60
    While it’s good to have Sebadoh back thrashing around in the unfurnished basement of the music industry once again, you just wonder how much better the results would have been if they had a complete album’s worth of material that proved worthy of their return.
  4. Uncut
    Sep 17, 2013
    The band's amiable punk-folk chunter lacks a little of its usual charm. [Oct 2013, p.74]
  5. 60
    When it falls, it’s awkward, but when it gets there, it gets there. The blunders are all Sebadoh, but so are the gems.
  6. Sep 17, 2013
    This is hardly revelatory stuff--the days of Sebadoh blowing minds and claiming hearts are now far behind them, but then maybe they don’t have to do that anymore.
  7. Sep 16, 2013
    Defend Yourself still suggests a creator with an obsessively huge record collection, only the heady variation of explored genres seems more boilerplate, a sense of variety for variety's sake rather than a desire to put a unique stamp on old musical tropes.
  8. Sep 16, 2013
    Musical achievements that once came easily (if not accidentally) to Sebadoh must now be persistently willed; processes that once pointed toward self-discovery now only offer a familiar balm.
  9. Sep 16, 2013
    While there's nothing wrong with the piecemeal construction of the record, 14 years is a long time to wait for an album that sets blandness and brilliance beside each other in an almost equal ratio. When Defend Yourself hits its stride, however, it's amazing how timeless and unique the classic Sebadoh sound really is.
  10. 60
    This 10th album lacks such bite [as 1999’s single Flame].
  11. Sep 17, 2013
    The sound remains the same, but the songs aren’t always there.
  12. Nov 21, 2013
    Grounded in the fertile terrain of terminal relationships, the warm, unadorned album comes undone by undercooked songwriting.

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