Bob Dylan sang “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” fifty years ago. Adam Balbo sings “Shit is So Fucking Sad” fifty years later and the message is depressingly familiar, albeit a lot funnier coming from the folk-punk singer-songwriter. Whether he’s sounding like a strung-out Elvis Perkins on the title track to his latest EP Demons or a psychotic Buddy Holly on the rather silly “Do You Like It?”, Balbo channels all the crass irony, cynicism and gnawing doubt of a generation into sometimes hilarious, sometimes haunting tunes.
Call it Fear and Loathing in the East Bay: There is real anger and bitterness on the scathing “A Dollar’s Worth,” but also grim humor evident in lines like, “If greed is good, then God’s a jerk,” as Balbo straddles the precipitous line between moral outrage and detached, satiric joy. By the song’s end you’re not sure whether to laugh or punch your boss in the face. Or maybe do both at the same time.
Download the EP and check out Adam at the Stork Club this Wednesday night. You’ve never had this much fun feeling this bad.