“The intermediate stage between socialism and capitalism is alcoholism.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


The son of country legend Bobby Bare, Bare Jr.'s music bears only a passing resemblance to that of his father. Sure, there's plenty of traditional country roots that can be heard in the grooves of Boo-Tay -- how could you grow up in Nashville during the '70s with folks like Johnny Cash and George Jones hanging around your house and not soak up some of their influence? For Bare Jr., however, country is not a means to an end but rather another ingredient to throw into an energetic musical gumbo that includes healthy portions of Southern rock and punkish intensity. The songs on Boo-Tay don't just pour out of your stereo speakers, they reach out and grab you by the ears, Bare Jr. kicking out the jams with a vigor that surely had Hank Williams spinning in his grave. Bare's wonderfully imperfect vocals often spiral out of control like a drunken dervish, while guitarist Mike Grimes tears off fleshy, razor-sharp riffs like some sort of bloodthirsty predator. Bare's songs tread familiar lyrical ground, albeit with his own peculiar individual fingerprints, the subject matter on Boo-Tay ranging from self-loathing and lost innocence to betrayal and woefully unrequited love. Cuts like "The Most," "Faker," "Why Don't You Love Me," and the wickedly dark "I Hate Myself" (written with family friend Shel Silverstein) are overflowing with brilliant imagery, not-so-subtle wordplay, and hard-rocking instrumentation, the band adding just enough twang to convince you that they hail from Nashville. One of the more auspicious debut albums of the late '90s, Bare Jr. the band delivered a swift kick to the backside of alternative country and country-rock poseurs alike with Boo-Tay.

Bare Jr. - Boo-tay
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