PopMatters home | short takes home | archivesPopMatters Music Short Takes
The Barnyard Playboys, Corn Dog Love (Rubric)
The Barnyard Playboys are the Barenaked Ladies for hillbillies and hicks -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Loud and rude and full of foul body humor, Corn Dog Love sounds like a Farrely Brothers movie put to music. The playing is sloppy and the vocals are raw, but, hey, the Gourds carved themselves a niche with many of the same shortcomings. The problem here, though, is that singer and songwriter John Lyons doesn't have the chops of a Kev Russell. Then again, if you're looking for transcendent roots rock you ain't lookin' here. With song titles like "Turd in the Mail", "Whiskey Dick Mountain", and "My Heart Is in the Right Place (But My Head Is up My Ass)" -- none of which are quite as bad as they sound -- no one involved with the band is making any claims to Gram Parsons's legacy. Instead, it's cow punk for 14-year-old boys, and that's a surprisingly refreshing thing.