Bob Log III – Log Bomb

Bob Log III
Log Bomb

Bob Log III is yet another fine artist on the Fat Possum label, though he’s easily the most eccentric. The self-proclaimed “one-man band” not only sings and plays some of the dirtiest slide guitar you’ll ever hear, but he also plays a bass drum with one foot and controls a drum machine with the other. While for most performers that would be more than enough, Bob Log accomplishes all this while wearing an Evil Knieval style jumpsuit and a motorcycle helmet with a telephone receiver installed in the front as a microphone. All wrapped up together, it would appear like Bob Log is a flash-in-the-pan novelty act, but I have yet to find anyone who hasn’t been won over by the massive energy of one of his live shows.
Since his days in primitive blues duo Doo Rag, Bob Log III has released three solo albums, including the January 2003 release Log Bomb. I never felt that Log’s other albums, Trike and School Bus, adequately captured his music very well, so I was a bit hesitant about this release. I guess no matter how impressed I was with his music or live show there were still fears that he may just be a novelty that could disappear any moment. Log already played faster than I ever thought humanly possible, sang naughty songs like “I Want Your Shit on My Leg” and “Clap Your Tits,” and had the ability to make crowds respond in ways I’ve never seen before at any concert. So, when Bob Log responded to all my doubts with Log Bomb, the only thing I can say is that I’m sorry I ever doubted.
The biggest differences between Log Bomb and the previous releases are the vocals and the drum machine. While Log relied heavily on the super-fast beats from his drum machine on both Trike and School Bus, it is almost absent from this album completely. This gives his super slinky guitarwork a better chance to shine through on the recording, and shine it does. Bob also seems to have lost the telephone receiver on this one, because you can actually understand the lyrics. The songs are still peppered with plenty of hoots, hollers, and “wows,” but listeners will be able to hear most of the vocals.
None of this means that Bob Log isn’t still playing some of the meanest delta blues you’ve ever heard or that his music now lacks the titillating qualities he became known for. Quite the contrary, I think the path he has taken on Log Bomb is easily his best release so far. His latest ode to female body parts, “Boob Scotch,” is about exactly what your dirty little mind thinks it is, but the album as a whole far surpasses mischievous lyrics and shock value. “Wigglin Room” and “Rattler” both emerged straight from a juke joint, while “Wag Your Tail Like a Dog in the Back of a Truck” takes a more upbeat approach and incorporates just a little bit of funk appeal. “Drunk Stripper” sounds like a hot-n-hazy summer day – really showing off just how good of a guitar player Bob Log really is, even when he slows down the frantic pace of most of his other songs.
With 13 solid tracks chock full of rhythm and blues madness, Log Bomb is an excellent introduction to Bob Log III. This is the album that convinces me that Log isn’t just a novelty but an artist who will likely be around for quite awhile. Losing most of the drum machine and making the vocals comprehensible are the best things Bob Log could have done at this point, and I think this will help bring lots of new fans into the fold. If you can’t catch Bob Log on the road, Log Bomb is the next best thing.