FAO any well-respected, dormant indie band planning to make a comeback next year: give Domino Records a call and see if they can fit you in. That label was responsible for the return of The Pastels earlier in the year, and they've also picked up a reunited Sebadoh, 14 years after the rocky road to the quasi-self-titled The Sebadoh saw a former drummer fired, culminating in a hiatus (albeit one which was broken now and again for the odd live show over the years), as band leader Lou Barlow branched off into his Folk Implosion side-project (which would meet its own end in 2004). Fast forward to 2013, and the band are once again active, having released the Secret EP as if from nowhere the previous year, and there's also a new album in the can.

Defend Yourself is as triumphant a return from the band - Barlow, Jason Loewenstein and Bob D'Amico - as we could have hoped for, more or less picking up where they left off all those years ago. Their last recording sessions for an album were fraught with tension, but when creating their ninth studio album, they kept their heads down and allowed minimal outside interference; hence, their typically rough-hewn sound remains intact, with things taking a turn for the angular on 'Beat', and the surprising instrumental 'Once', a track which proves that the band are certainly reliable, they still have a few new tricks up their sleeves, even if they're still using whatever barely-working equipment they can lay their hands on to bring these to life.

Some circumstances have changed, however - the big one is that Barlow's separated from his wife of 25 years, providing the catalyst for a snarling, biting break-up record. Remember when he was turfed out of Dinosaur Jr. and wrote III in response? That's what this feels like.

When an album opens a verse like this - "Can you tell that I'm about to lose control? / Someone else has found her way into my soul / Things have changed, no longer need to be with you / I'm still the same, but if it's leaving I must do to be true, I will" - you can tell that absolutely no punches will be pulled, and that's exactly the case. Referred to by Barlow as "yet another Sebadoh record made in a time of transition," the album is 48 minutes of the frontman baring his soul, and he does it to the sort of soundtrack that could have come from 20 years ago.

This reunion album is no mere retread of past glories, however: as tracks like the bruising 'Inquires' and the beautiful penultimate track 'Listen' attest to, Sebadoh sound every bit as vital as they used to. Whether they will turn this short burst of productivity into the second stage of their career, like Dinosaur Jr. have (Barlow having been welcomed back into the fold in 2005), remains to be seen, but if not, this is a fine way to bow out. Who knows what the future will bring? We don't, but if we had to guess, Sebadoh don't either, and that's quite exciting.