Jason Loewenstein At Sixes And Sevens

"What took you so long?" is a refrain Mr. Loewenstein is hearing a lot now that he's finally released his first solo album after over ten years recording with Sebadoh. While Sebadoh's other songwriter, Lou Barlow, released plenty of solo material in that time, and also got most of the attention, it would appear that Loewenstein was stockpiling tracks for this personal opus. Like Barlow's solo material, Loewenstein's album is solo in the true sense of the word. The album is engineered, produced and performed only by Jason. He even designed the cover art based around tornado photos that actually encapsulate the unbridled energy on this album because, unlike Barlow's solo material, At Sixes and Sevens rocks like a madman. Loewenstein has taken the opportunity to wield his axe with abandon, and boy does it feel good. It must have been some kind of cathartic experience because this is a wild album of choppy guitar skronk and sweet riffs. Although he has released a handful of previous solo tracks as Sparkalepsy, and was always pushing up the rock quotient with Sebadoh, this time around he didn't have anything to push against. Whether it was this newfound freedom or just a matter of quality control, he's avoided Sebadoh's pitfalls of inconsistency, resulting in an album of 14 well-honed songs. Maybe it's not what you expected but At Sixes and Sevens is a spectacular guitar rock album. (Sub Pop)