Lou Barlow's Sebadoh was a soaring outlet for his self-conscious songs as well as one of the more revered examples of the lo-fi, D.I.Y. recording ethic of the late '80s and early '90s. After reuniting for various shows, Barlow and company announced in 2013 they'd be releasing Defend Yourself, the first album from the band since 1999's The Sebadoh. Preceding the full-length album is the five-song Secret EP, offering a few scraps and remnants from the home-recorded sessions that resulted in the album. Kicking off with the floor-tom driven "Keep the Boy Alive," the short companion piece sounds shockingly similar to the moody, shut-in indie rock tones of '90s Sebadoh. The country-flavored "I Don't Mind" stands out as a slightly different style for the group, with the nasal vocals taking on cowboy crooning, and ironically sounding a little like Barlow's one-time nemesis J. Mascis.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas