Tom Whalen (a.k.a. gr8-2000) has had his fingers in a lot of pies, playing with Orlando Magic and Role Mach in addition to his solo career doing frantic micro-mashes in the style of Girl Talk and noise-y laptop pop. All that work has paid off in this limited release 13-track album, which takes conventional instruments and puts a bunch of dirty production techniques on them. The result is a beautiful lo-fi fuzzy mess, most closely resembling Wavves.
The album kicks off with some acoustic guitar on “Laundry Spirit” which tricks you into thinking it’s folk rock, until a distorted drum beat and heavily processed keys and vocals kick in. The album has a number of gems on it, such as the aforementioned “Laundry Spirit;” “Cherries,” a noisy track about wanting to be a cherry; and “Stay In Bed All Day,” a pro-lethargia anthem and one of the more acoustic tracks on Freedom.
The tracks are layered, and Whalen does all of the music himself. This might be why Whalen doesn’t play much of this music live; it’s hard for one person to play guitar, drums and sing two parts at once. While Freedom is not much like his live set, it does have the energy of his stage presence, which amps up any performance. gr8-2000 will have copies of the album when he opens for Nü Sensae and Petroleum By-Products on May 6 at the Astoria for the Discorder night.