Spurs n' Spikes

Bare Jr. - Boo-Tay
(Immortal Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)

Story by Tony Bonyata

Like father, like son?
Following in country music star Bobby Bare's footsteps, who is probably best remembered for his 1960's and 70's hits "How I Got To Memphis", "Shame On Me" and "Marie Laveau", his son Bobby Bare Jr. is starting his own career as a country singer / songwriter / guitarist. The only difference is Bare Jr.'s country music is adorned with a spiky, green mohawk.
With the shot-gun marriage of country and punk rock, Bare has wedded together two genres that would seem like musical sodomy in the wrong hands. But as he proves on his band Bare Jr.'s debut album Boo-Tay, Bare not only turns these strange bedfellows into one slam-dancin', hoedown of a hybrid, but he does it with a passion.
Joining this unique rock band is Mike "Grimey" Grimes on guitar, Dean Tomasek on bass, drummer Keith Brogdon and Tracy Hackney on dulcimer (in fact almost half of the guitar solos are actually Hackney's dulcimer mutated through a distortion box). Together they come up with a sound that Brogdon, half kiddingly, refers to as 'Slayer meets Minnie Pearl', which really isn't that far from the truth.
The catchy pop and Southern twang of songs like "Nothing Better To Do" and "Give Nothing Away" mix well with the more hard-edged numbers "The Most", with Bare snarling and braying his lyrics over a rock-solid rhythm, and "You Blew Me Off", which opens with a twisted Twiggy Ramirez-like guitar line straight from Marilyn Manson's inferno.
Bare comes off like a street-poet-laureate as he rambles in Dylan-esque style on "Soggy Daisy", a crazy little song about lunatics confined to an asylum. On the radio-friendly pop song "Love-Less", Bare further displays his affection for 'His Bobness' with it's crying harmonica.
Vocally, Bare's slight country twang adds an earthiness to the angst-ridden punk screaming on the gut-wrenching "I Hate Myself", while he is also capable of delivering stark, honest vocals as on "Naked Albino".
Although Nashville natives Bare Jr. may never step foot on the stage of The Grand Ol' Opry, their 'spurs-n-spikes' blend of music is sure to make a splash in the mosh-pits of a city near you.

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