LP version of two cassettes released by Free Weed (Eric Gage lead singer of White Fang) on the GNAR label
From Ryan Saar Website
You can probably go ahead and assume that this isn’t the sort of music that will have Avril Lavigne fans gouging each others eyes out to get a copy of. Although you can always wish for the sweet moment of faux-punk fans in inevitable slaughter, it’s probably better for your mental health to put the eye pus to the sideline and focus on this sweet double album from Free Weed.
Free Weed as a title speaks for itself. It’s the solo ‘junk-pop’ project from Eric Gage. This is a pothead who rules more than the average pothead, in that he not only creates badass lo-fi neo-pysch but also runs the always excellent Gnar Tapes (Gnar stands for Gnarly!). If you had even a shred of literary intuition, you would assume that Free Weed make wacked out and awesome music. Let’s take a look shall we?
The EP/LP thing (I really don’t know what to call it) ‘Beer On the Drugs’ is an aimless amble through an acid trip gone right. Fuzzed out and cheap sounding instruments echo in the greatest amateur way, proving that you don’t have to sound good, to sound good. ‘Sci-Fi’ warbles on a 70′s vibe, crashlanding a UFO in a paddock, but instead of butt-prodding a backwards farmer, jams out and smokes a little hemp. ‘Friend of the Guitar’ melds sonic take-offs, ‘do-doo’s’ and a little jangle, and ‘Heating Bills’ is a hazy, THC-infused noise throwback of Bill and Ted approved proportions. However, for all these short and sweet tracks, Free Weed sounds best on ‘Beer on the Drugs’ when Gage extends and calms his sound, such as on the closers ‘Caprica’ and ‘High Zak Pt. 3′. The former is a synth exploration of the Triassic period, and the latter is an acoustic chill-fest.
‘Free’ is the next LP thing from Free Weed that I think you should pay attention to. This was released in 2012, a whole year after ‘Beer on the Drugs’, and a description of Free Weed’s sound having matured could kinda be slipped in there, I guess, if you were half an hour into a bag of mushrooms. No, in all seriousness, ‘Free’ is definitely the best thing to come from Gage’s stoned stupor of magnificence. The songs on here are pure stoner-pop genius, slack guitar reverberating in happy-go-lucky, hippie child exuberance, with elements of 70′s hard rock popping up throughout. As far as mind-expanding, short-as-a-tripping-midget songs go, there really isn’t a substitute for tracks like ‘In Doors’, ‘Slo-Fi’, and ‘Pimp Reaper’.
I really do mean it when I say that this weird collection of tunes is more than a haphazard collection of stoner brilliance. No, these songs have cohesiveness and grit to them. Initially, they might breeze by like any other hookah-inspired idea, but these albums are full of little gems. In fact, these songs are so good, they make me want to avoid the obvious joke of calling Free Weed en-GAGE-ing (amirite!). Slobbered out, and cool as all fuck, Free Weed makes tunes that expand beyond stoner munchables, and gratify the true search for pop-manship. If that’s a word. I don’t know, I just know that Free Weed is great.