Lou Barlow’s and Eric Gaffney’s historic home recordings revisited

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Sebadoh – The Freed Man
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Reissue from 1989

With Dinosaur Jr’s original bass player returned to the fold and a new LP recently lauded, this reissue of lo-fi, bedroom tinkerings is timely indeed.

Recorded between 1981-90, it centres around The Freed Man – released by Sebadoh on cassette in 1988 and sold for $1 – but has been expanded with contemporaneous brief blasts of punk, sweet folk musings, unhinged ambient recordings and fragmentary noise.

At 70-plus minutes, there’s a lot to digest, but the pair’s playful primitivism – which connects Daniel Johnston’s ‘Songs Of Pain’ with Beck’s ‘Stereopathetic Soulmanure’ – captivates still.

SHARON O’CONNELL