Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sebadoh-The Freed Man deluxe edition

Sebadoh are one of the essential 90's Indie Rock bands. Freed Man was their first widely available release back in the day (1989) although this deluxe edition that came out last year is it's first time on CD. The Freed Man contains some of Sebadoh's earliest material and the DE has been expanded to a whopping 52 tracks. As is often common with many re-issues that contain bonus tracks, for as many revelations there are tracks that should've been left on the cutting room floor.

Sebadoh were one of the leading purveyors of the Lo-Fi Sound who, along with similar home recorders such as Beck and Pavement set the standards by which how most 90's Indie Rock sounded. The whole Lo-Fi thing harkens back to the DIY scene that sprang up around punk a decade prior that anyone could make start a band and make music on their own terms. So people like Lou Barlow, needing a pressure release from the stresses of dealing with J. Mascis in his main concern, Dinosaur Jr., started making home recordings of all kinds of weird little songs, experiments, conversations, sound clips, goofy raps, ect and soon started working with kindred spirit Eric Gaffney. It is quite apparant that a lot of these tracks were probably not meant for wide release. That being said there are quite a few tracks here that are exemplary examples of Lo-Fi Indie Rock.

This release isn't for everyone. If you only want one Sebadoh record you'll probably be better off with their more professionall III or Bakesale records. Someone not totally dedicated to Lo-Fi stuff will find a lot of the tracks here pointless or silly or not worth their time. But to fans of the kitchen sink approach of Sebadoh and Lo-Fi in general, the best part is that the bands gave you a lot music on their releases, warts and all. So for those of you brave enough to handle 52 tracks in 80 minutes I say check out The Freed Man as it gives some insight into where Barlow and Gaffney were at during a time when they and other groups were on the cusp of creating American Indie Rock as we know it today.

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