Eric Gaffney should be a household name for anybody interested in home recording. He was DIY before it was even a thing and he’s still doing it way better than most.
America’s Drug was recorded between late 2009 and early 2010 on a Tascam Porta Two 4-Track cassette recorder. It’s Eric’s most recent recording and a damn good collection of music.
The opening track is an aptly-titled diatribe of everything wrong with your average drunk, TV obsessed, American slob. This theme of slackerdom and “The American Way” is one that is carried throughout much of the album.
The lo-fi tape warble and acoustic guitar of “Welcome to Manilla” is hauntingly simple and beautifully bizarre all at once. Nearly every song on the album begins with a triumphant proclamation of the song title, making you feel like Eric is trying them out in your living room.
Tracks like “90 Million BC” play out like sci-fi radio dramas complete with homemade sound effects and detailed allegories from another time.
“I Hate Alcohol” feels a bit more along the lines of Eric’s output with Sebadoh. It’s loud, abrasive, and brutally honest.
America’s Drug jumps from folk to garage rock to operatic radio drama (sometimes in just one song). It’s difficult to put a label on it, but at the end of the day, Eric is a pretty brilliant story teller.
These 20 songs are vivid vignettes that come from a man with an imagination that seems to always be running wild. As usual, Eric performs them with a conviction and sincerity rarely seen in popular music. The tales are not always pretty (and some are downright disgusting) but this album is certainly a weird, wild ride with some really beautiful scenery along the way.
The album is available for purchase via bandcamp for $7, with 5 tracks available to stream for free. Certainly a must-have for any Sebadoh fan that would like more of the erratic lo-fi stylings from the one and only Eric Gaffney.
For more of Eric’s solo recordings follow his various bandcamp links below, and check out our interview from April 2014.