Spoonboy: The Papas

[20 November 2011]

By Stephen Haag

Surely it was recorded before the protests started, but there’s an undeniable #OccupyWallStreet vibe running through David Combs’—dba Spoonboy—sophomore disc of thoughtful, wide-eyed, big-hearted, sometimes righteously angry acoustic-pop-folk-punk (with horns!), The Papas. Lines like “We are the victims of a culture that describes happiness in economics” and “If everyone’s for themselves then there’s no one for us all” are just begging to be tweeted from Zuccotti Park. Combs’ other concern is far more personal. He’s really mad—like really mad—at his absentee father. The raucous “Stab Your Dad” (“I thank goodness for the absence of a father”) and the painful “The Mamas and the Papas” (“Sir, you’ve done nothing to earn it”) veer perilously close to therapy sessions set to guitar, but no doubt there’s dozens of kids out there who feel the same way. The “bad dad” trope pops up occasionally (see Everclear’s Art Alexakis) and doesn’t really speak to those of us who, ya know, love their dad, but fortunately, Combs isn’t stuck solely navelgazing and hurling invectives at the man who upended his life. (The album also includes an acoustic version of the songs.)

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/151146-spoonboy-the-papas/