Album Review: The Bobby Lees – Skin Suit

  • Adam Pytro posted
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The Bobby Lees

Skin Suit - Alive Naturalsound

This Friday (August 7th) sees garage-punkers The Bobby Lees  take part in a livestream release show from the Bearsville Theater in their hometown of Woodstock NY;  which will feature a full band performance alongside a discussion with musician and author Peter Aaron – More details HERE. It seems a perfect opportunity to re-indulge in the young quartet’s recent debut album ‘Skin Suit’, produced by underground punk legend Jon Spencer and released via Alive Naturalsound. Praise has been liberally lavished on the record, involving terminology such as ‘raw’, ‘chaotic’ and ‘gritty’.

After a few (intentional) false starts, a ripping riff introduces the tale of voodoo vinyl that is ‘Move’, which opens up the album in blistering, breathless fashion. The hip-shaking continues into ‘Coin’; which is irresistible in its beat; while previous single ‘Guttermilk’ is riotous and trashy and over too quickly. it’s followed by ‘Riddle Daddy’ (which feels like it lives on some lost Tarantino soundtrack), shuffling along on rolling drums, an almost-surf bassline and a captivating vocal performance from Sam Quartin, who sneers, howls and rasps over the titular character. ‘Redroom’ has a fuzzy, winding rhythm and a glam-infused breakdown. ‘Interlude’ ‘Ranch Baby’ – written by guitarist Nick Casa – is a bizarre spoken-word vehicle for Jon Spencer, whose influence is all over the record, to come to the fore.


The energetic ‘Wendy’ is up next, replete with acoustic jangles and handclaps, partnered by another female-named number: ‘Mary Jo’, which channels a jaunty latin-flavoured rhythm. The kamikaze ‘Drive’ and buzzsaw-train-boogie of ‘Russell’ keep up the vigour, inversed on the more measured, but equally powerful closer ‘Last Song’ – which takes the spirit of a morose 1950s doo-wop track into the parking lot and kicks the shit out of it – arpeggiated chords, wurlitzing organ and lamenting sentiments descend into an untamed din.

The CD release also has a couple of bonus tracks to offer: In the hands of The Bobby Lees, Bo Diddley’s ‘I’m A Man’ becomes a robustly slinky tune, and Richard Hell & The Voidoids’ ‘Blank Generation’ takes on a grungier presence.

Like grooves fed by an unrestrained, coarse, bluesy vitality that you can bop along to? ‘Skin Suit’ is available through Alive Naturalsound. The Bobby Lees have an official website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.