Home : Issues I-VIII

Lo-fi band, not troubled superclub

All the tracks on ‘Issues I-VIII’ were originally issued as a series of $1 tapes between 1991-94 by these American lo-fi titans whom the acutely knowledgable may know are up to album number ‘XIV’ now. On the upside for Home, obsessive Grandaddy/Sebadoh fans will see some enlightening parallels in their ability to sneakily replicate the better bits of the Neil Young songbook on a budget of about 5p.

Buried beneath the crackle, ‘Learning To Behave’ and ‘Only Daughter Of A Saltmine’ are feasible pop classics rendered unlistenable by primitive technology. On the downside, the sad thing is that lo-fi as a genre has all too often been an excuse for indifferent songwriters to conceal their dearth of ideas behind a wall of tape-hiss.

Their subsequent career has shown that Home – like Lou Barlow and Smog – are sane enough chaps who only really achieved anything of worth once they had the budget to put their musical ideas into practice.

For some, ‘Issues I-VIII’ will

be a brutally honest view of a band in transition. For the rest of us, it’s just a shambling disappointment.

Jim Wirth