I have a curse--any band I like either breaks up, folds, or has a member die in it. For a long time, I figured Sebadoh would be immune from this curse, but it appears they may at last have succumbed. If you've never heard of this trio, then get this album to see why I would mourn their passing.
Fittingly, there are really three styles apparent in this album, alternating between songs: basic, quirky, almost folksy tunes ("On Fire" - the lead track, which will stick in your head on the first listen--my favorite tune on the album), "Ocean", "Willing to Wait", "Too Pure", "Perfect Way", "Open Ended", and "Weed Against Speed". The majority of these are Lou Barlow's work, and they're full of soulful brooding.
Secondly, there are college alternarock-style songs: "Prince-S", "Beauty of the Ride", "Mindreader" and "Can't Give Up" (hints of Pearl Jam), "Sforzande!", "Zone Doubt", and "Worst Thing" (hints of the Pixies or Nirvana). When I say "hints of", I think the better known bands were more likely influenced by Sebadoh, and not the other way around.
Finally, there are stripped-down, crunchy, punky/grungy tunes in "Nothing Like You" (hints of Sonic Youth), "Crystal Gypsy", "Hillbilly II", "Love to Fight", and "I Smell a Rat".
These different styles might be jarring to a casual listener, trying to figure out what the heck Sebadoh's about. but that's what makes them so cool. When "alternative" became mainstream, it was nice to hear Sebadoh avoiding being pigeonholed and doing what they wanted.