Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fields of Gaffney

Cosmic Chicken and Egg
Nothing quite matches the sweet sound of a Tascam Four Track cassette recording. This new disc by Mr. Gaffney was recorded live to tape on the trusty four track with vocal overdubs. Some artists need high-fidelity sound equipment to sound good. While other artists sound great no matter the audio format. Eric Gaffney falls into the latter category. Eric Gaffney with the help of Jessica Cowley (bass & vocals) and Richard Marshall (drums) has recorded some lo-fi sweetness. This collection of songs features some new songs along side some classics and one surprising cover.
Some of these songs we have heard before, songs like "Moldy Bread" and "Crisis," date from the classic Sebadoh era (i.e. pre-Gaffney exit). Some songs are from his Brilliant Concert Numbers era, while others are completely new (at least new to me). The album starts off with chiming guitars on "All Alone Again." A pleasant melody is paired with dark lyrics, "All Alone Again, on my own again, I am hard to take, so leave me be."
"The Other Day" was a one of the hits from Brilliant Concert Numbers. This time it gets a nice sludgy rocking treatment versus the country-ish treatment on the album. The album features two of my favorite Sebadoh songs. "Moldy Bread" is a pretty straight ahead take on the original (why fuck with perfection). "Crisis" is most changed of the old songs on the album. It is a whole different kind of heavy than the brutality of the original. This version is more droney & murky (in a good way) than the full on hardcore of the original.
One of the new songs (at least new to me) that really shine is the song "Losers in the Living Room." It is an anthem about hating your roommates. It matches the greatness of anything from Bubble and Scrape. The album ends with a great cover of the Pretenders' song "Precious." It features the pleasant vocals of Jessica Cowley. While I am not familiar with the original this version is a great little punky number.
This collection of songs will please old school fans and new comers alike. I love the hand made quality of CD-Rs. The art work features wonderful xeroxography, but an artist such as Gaffney really deserves a proper release. The only thing that is missing from this disc is Gaffney's great sound pieces. I look forward to hearing them on future releases. (Animal Friends) (Dan Cohoon)