The Vinyl Word, Issue #3: Give Us Barabas

The Vinyl Word is a new column where The Farsighted’s poet laureate, Jeremy Ritch, is putting back on his music critic and vinyl appreciator hat to share his love for the format with the world. Starting with the the re-release of the fantastic Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, join Jeremy as he shares his final word on vinyl releases and re-issues… enjoy this issue of The Vinyl Word.

Karabas Barabas
Degenerate National Anthem

Brooklyn, New York’s Karabas Barabas is a band that is hard to describe but they leave a lasting impression. Their sound is a mix of punk rock, rock, jazz, country, and everything else they can squeeze into a record. This is not a top 40 rock band, nor are they a run of the mill underground scene band. This band is a fucking experience, for better or worse, you are going to experience a lot of things with them. I received their latest release and also Sex With The Devil and Return Of The Sexy Demon, both from 2017, so needless to say I got a full frontal assault of their catalog. The music is all over the place but the musicianship is on par with the mood swings that are the tracks on this and the other records.

Lyrically, well let me say they are not for the faint of heart or the easily offended, but they do take on issues that you wouldn’t expect from the first impression. The songs are extremely political but come from a place of sarcasm, crassness, and sexually explicit imagery. A line like “I’ve got AIDS and diarrhea”, make some cringe but understand this is extremely satirical. Often taking the devils advocate role in these whimsical attacks of your eardrums, it is clear they do not approve of right-wing politics or our current president. Song titles such as Trump University and Kool-Aid Giuliani, they not only address the corruption and distaste of the current regime, but they show no mercy. Cleverly written, yet sophomoric lyrics, pummel each subject matter like a diarrheic flock of birds circling the GOP Convention. As a reviewer, this is a challenging group because what they are great at is being awful, and doing it brilliantly. I’d compare them too bands like The Dead Milkmen, Mr. Bungle, or even Zappa or Captain Beefheart. This is some of the wildest and most vulgarly clever music I’ve heard in sometime. They have a knack for the extreme yet keeping a message on point. I can only describe them as a full-fledged felonious earfucking by a sarcastic bunch of snarky assholes who are screaming hilariously clever word vomit from the right side of history.

If you are looking for a record to piss off your conservative friends or racist uncle, this would be my choice. It’s a real humdinger.

Jeremy Ritch
Jeremy Ritch is a published writer and poet currently traveling the U.S. working on their next book. Jeremy has had many interesting life experiences and you can hear about some of them on Episode 3 of The Farsighted Podcast. You can get your hands on Jeremy's collections of poetry at their Lulu store. If you prefer you books digitally, Sidewalk Stories and Other Poems is available for Kindle at a discount price. They have a variety of other works all over the world wide web, as well. The long and the short of it is that Jeremy likes to write and we all like to read what Jeremy writes.
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