Bobby Bare Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr.

Young Criminals’ Starvation League


Holy crap, where did this come from?

For those of us familiar with the son of country legend Bobby Bare from his brainy boogie band Bare Jr., this solo record is an unexpected kick in the butt. You can tell where this guy grew up — echoes of his dad’s stellar work abound, and his cover of Shel Silverstein’s “Painting Her Fingernails” rings true, but damn, his cover of The Smiths’ “What Difference Does It Make” makes you forget the original. Bare Jr. sounds as if he’s singing for his life, and lyrically, songs such as “Flat Chested Girl From Maynardville” or “The Ending” are glimpses into the parts of people’s lives that most of us would rather shy away from. Not Bobby. Bobby takes a seat, stares at ’em, and writes a song. Musically he can go from the neo-Who of “The Monk at the Disco” and the snotty “Dig Down” (with the great lines of “Black Francis, Black Francis you were the last motherfucker out/Grabbing all the good stuff and leaving no doubt“) to Lambchop-style twisted country seemingly at will, and his voice, well lord, the boy can sing. From a Kevn Kinneyish pleading or a harsh bark, you don’t doubt of what Bobby Bare Jr. wants to say. Confident and cruel, this is a landmark record, one that should stand high atop best of lists come years end. Who knew such challenging brilliance lurked within?

Bloodshot Records:

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