Spoonboy-The Papas. Plan-it-X-Records/Fuck You is a Seven Letter Word Records, 2011.
I don’t tend to like music in which the artists wear their opinions on their sleeves; I feel like I’m being talked at rather than talked to.This is why I avoid Rage Against the Machine, ALL religious bands, and a lot of punk. When musicians climb their mountains and start shouting down their Commandments, it, in the words of my father, “makes my asshole pucker.”
Spoonboy is a band with opinions. In the songs of David Combs, the cities are a symptom of the folly of capitalism and Religion has distracted us from believing in ourselves. However, Combs, AKA Spoonboy, manages to do this with a slight timidity that negates some of the didacticism that these types of songs often have. Instead of raging against machines, Spoonboy, and the characters who populate his songs, wander through their bleak urban existence, emasculated, lost, searching for heroes and replacement parental figures.
Spoonboy sounds a little like The Weakerthans (not surprising, as he lists John K. Sampson’s other band, Propagandhi, as an influence) and a little like Neutral Milk Hotel (especially on “The Mamas and the Papas”). It’s kind of punk, kind of folk, and assuming the narrator is Combs himself, self-disclosing almost to a fault. I was initially put off by the “message” during the first song, but Papas grew on me by the end.
Papas is available digitally on their Bandcamp page, and will soon be available on physical formats from Fuck You is a Seven Letter Word Records and Plan-it-X Records. An acoustic version of the album is available for free digitally HERE.