Sebadoh The Freed Man

Sebadoh The Freed Man
Back in 1988, when Dinosaur Jr. were putting the finishing touches on Bug, bassist Lou Barlow was on the outs with J Mascis, honing his songwriting abilities as Sentridoh on the side. Along with his friend, a pizza delivery guy/radio DJ named Eric Gaffney, Barlow formed Sebadoh and began recording a 30-minute piece called The Freed Man on a Radio Shack low noise tape. Following last year’s double-disc reissue of III, the Sebadoh history lesson continues with their debut release, a 31-song introduction to home recording by the "lowest-fied” band that ever lived. This redux edition tacks on an additional 21 cuts, which makes for an aural experience that requires some seat shifting, but the sequencing — now in a completely different order — adds to the fun. In fact, at times this album feels completely different because of the extreme foundational shake-up. New additions like the precious "Hung Up” or the Folk Implosion blueprint "Cyster” blend in smoothly alongside familiar ones like "Solid Brown” and the noise-plagued balladry of "K-Sensa-My.” As you’d expect from such an early effort, it’s not exactly easy listening from start to finish, but Barlow’s gut-spilling honesty has never been about going down easy. That said, Gaffney’s output shouldn’t be overlooked, for he was the much-needed yang to Barlow’s yin (best witnessed in the British Invasion reject "Julienne”). While it’s pretty humorous to see these reissues arise during Barlow’s second tenure in Dino Jr., it’s also a blast to relive these classics in a whole new, extended light. (Domino)