Itís hard not to like Bob Log III, a creepy little guy who sings through an amplified motorcycle helmet and growls and grooves to this own blues muse. Especially when heís singing, in " One Man Boom Band, " about his miserable, benighted life: he lives in a car while perpetually touring the country, drinking to collapse every night, and depending on door takes for his daily bourbon and bread.
Iím sure thatís just slightly glamorized. Logís solo albums make his earlier work with the scratchy combo Doo Rag seem pristine, and this is his dirtiest outing. Guitar strings buzz like hornets too fat to fly. He sings and slides like Fred McDowell with a mouth full of mush. Tunes like " Wiggliní Room " and " Drunk Stripper " live on their grooves, the former a tail-shaking shuffle, the latter a sleazy slow-drag. But strip away the sonic signifiers of blown amps and worn-off frets and moonshine-fueled howling and Logís songs are a little too brain-dead. Hell, the guy turns " Who got their boob in my Scotch " into an entire number, " Boob Scotch, " that like most novelties has a shelf life of about three spins before it starts to smell the unpleasant kind of funky. Think of Log as the decaf-soy-milk-frappachino-with-a-shot-of-indie-rock-smugness of the blues ó too safe and light to taste right, but good in small doses.
(Bob Log III plays the Middle East this Sunday, March 23, with openers Drunk Horse. Call 617-864-EAST.)