The Value of Nothing
Eddie Spaghetti, front man for those Seattlebased pleasure barons of arena garage punk The Supersuckers, kicks out his first solo album of all originals. You might find that songwriting distinction surprising—given his lifetime traveling to two-bit hotels and dumpy backstages in order to spend a couple glorious hours on stage throwing devil’s horns and country-damaged metal to the adoring masses—but it’s the truth. The Value of Nothing distills everything he’s learned in his career-long, over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek adoration of all things rock and roll into a genre-scoffing dose of snarling country rock, full of pop hooks and wiseguy humor delivered with a brain, a heart, & a beer.
Recorded in Eddie’s surrogate hometown of Austin, TX, he employed the assistance of a genuine Texas badass, one Mr. Jesse Dayton (collaborator with such country legends as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and, um, Rob Zombie), in the hopes of making a more authentic country record. Well, ol’ JD thought that working with Eddie was his opportunity to get his RAWK on, so The Value of Nothing ended up a hybrid: a ragtop-down road trip soundtrack; an album embracing the guilty and not-so-guilty pleasures of classic rock, hooky-as-hell Texas roadhouse, and the alwayslurking- on-the-corner-barstool dirty joking of classic Supersuckerism.
The Value of Nothing gallops out of the gate with the Southwestern-inflected title track, all wide-lens spaced-out cowpunk, Eddie’s gravel road vocals both urgent and laid back cool. “Empty” follows with classic rock power chords filtered through the haze hanging over his buddy Willie Nelson’s ranch. The ragged, lazy charm of “Waste of Time” is a paean to kickin’ back, the theme song to those days where it’s almost too much goddamn effort to get off the couch and get a beer, all sung with a crooked smile and topped with some wicked fried slide guitar. With the lighter-sparking final track, “When I Go, I’m Gone,” we hear a surprisingly subdued Eddie, a man confident in the power of his hooks.
It wouldn’t be an Eddie Spaghetti record, though, without some full-on wise-assery. “Fuckin’ with My Head” channels ‘77 era UK punk with its jittery energy and feels-so-good-to-shout-along chorus. And then there’s that Chuck Berry-gone-metal guitar solo by Jesse D... The swinging conjunto throwdown of “People Are Shit” tells it like we all know it is, but Eddie’s got the stones to come right out and say it.
Eddie’s last solo album, Sundowner (Bloodshot 2011), featured covers from the likes of C&W stalwarts like Dave Dudley and Johnny Cash right next to punk rock snots like the Dwarves and the Lee Harvey Oswald Band. The Value of Nothing continues Eddie’s disinterest in tedious genre orthodoxies. From punk rock’s energy, metal’s showmanship, and country’s storytelling intimacy, Eddie finds unexpected commonalities.