Eddie Spaghetti - The Value of Nothing
Record Label: Bloodshot
Release Date: June 18, 2013
If Johnny Cash were still alive, there's a strong possibility he'd buy Eddie Spaghetti's new album The Value of Nothing. Known to many as the frontman/bassist for Seattle's unpredictable yet ultra-consistent The Supersuckers, The Value of Nothing is the follow up to 2011's Sundowners. Recorded in Austin with Jesse Dayton (Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings) this 10-song effort is equal parts humorous, histrionic and heady.
The titular track and lead single is a rustic ass-kicker with ample amounts of sweat and grit. The defeated and brawny "Empty," is a hip-shaking saloon song with a punchy chorus and enough Seattle swagger to make Pete Carroll blush. One of the album's more accessible efforts, "Empty" is proof positive that Spaghetti knows his way around a hook. The jangly and buoyant "if Anyone's Got the Balls" is a quasi spoken-word effort that is much a testament to intestinal fortitude as it is an engaging and amiable roots-pop ditty. The disc's first half closes out with "Waste of Time" and "You Get To Be My Age."
The former is another quasi spoken-word effort about taking initiative (or lack thereof) and one of the album's best. Comfortable, confident and without pretense, "Waste of Time" is exactly why Eddie Spaghetti is so beloved across this fine continent. The latter is a sun-drenched valentine that scorches like the Texas sun and reaffirms Jesse Dayton's palm print on this body of work.
On the second half, Spaghetti rambles along with the hyper albeit profane "F$@%@% My Head." The accordion-drenched flavored "People are S$@^," once again reaffirms Spaghetti's penchant for cussing but does so to a bubbly and fizzy slice of Cajun zydeco pop. If every disc has an apex, then the closing triumvirate of "One Man Job," "When I Go I'm Gone" and the rousing singalong "I've Got a Secret" are those apex moments. The former is spartan and simple and finds Spaghetti carving out a homespun and air-tight tonic to domesticity. Ostensibly a duet with Jesse Dayton, "One Man Job" it once again revisits Spaghetti's love of spoken word material. "I've Got a Secret" is easily the disc's most indelible singalong and has all the hip-shaking, beer-swilling bustle that make The Supersuckers such a draw.
But it is the closing "When I Go I'm Gone" that really makes the biggest impact of any song on The Value of Nothing. A straightforward and by-the-book three minute gem, the song carries an understated reverence and honesty that makes it worth revisiting. While the album is far from perfect, there are moments of brilliance and compassion sliding through the cracks and those moments are what make The Value of Nothing worth the listen.