Spot Unhalfbaking (Upland)

Texas Platters

Record Reviews

Spot

Unhalfbaking (Upland)

Being one of those damned (and damned few) people who can seemingly pick up any instrument ever created and assume an immediate fluency at playing it, the infrequently appearing solo albums by famed punk rock producer Spot (Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, you name it) always make a fine listen for any musician or student of the musical arts. Thankfully, Spot's sense of humor and years of experience have combined to make his explorations and updatings of the hornpipe, jig, and all those old traditional musical forms with funny names far more than just a fine academic study. Besides his proficiency on the guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddola, bass clarinet, and bamdo (don't ask me), Spot's got the ability to mix modern lyrics with age-old tunes and come out with a combination that's charming rather than just silly -- although his ode to the happy life of the vibrator in "Bastard Betty Blues" ("I'm a dildo and I'm okay, I work all night and I sleep all day") wouldn't be out of place on a Monty Python album. On the whole, Unhalfbaking flowers with absolutely unconditional love for music. Plus which, who else could manage to write a drinking song ("It's the Water") that's also a study in race/class warfare?

***.5

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