Chris Barrows

Published on January 1st, 2018

Chris Barrows

The Pink Lincolns are an enigma. What’s happening with them? Are they still a band? No matter — they released “Back From The Pink Room” in 1986 and punk took notice. “Miami,” the first track, captures the seething mood of the city in the ’80s like few ever have. And these guys were from Tampa.

Lincolns vocalist Chris Barrows would go on to front the Jackie Papers, the Spears and, ever since, the Chris Barrows Band. Long known for being snotty and confrontational, the Barrows of today is still all that, with the added spark of age to light the fuse of aggravation.

Barrows keeps himself busy. After a solo record in 2014, he released a series of split 7”s this year with Rikk Agnew, formerly of the Adolescents, Social Distortion and Christian Death, and a 4-way Florida split on Ohio’s Rad Girlfriend label with F, No Fraud and Armageddon Man. The Barrows entry in that quartet, “Born Old,” is anything but tired, clocking in at 1:52 of vitriol and venom.

Some listeners identify (or dismiss) Barrows’ brand of punk as “poppy.” But who else can boast records produced by a pair of Descendents (Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton), guested on by one of the Dwarves (He Who Cannot be Named) and inspired in part by velvet paintings of Elvis?

And Barrows on a stage isn’t “pop.” He’s like a live wire thrashing: If you get too close you’re probably going to get hurt.

For some, creativity comes in spurts and false starts. The Chris Barrows Band appears to be constantly playing, recording and making its presence known. Some would call that moving and shaking; others would say its scene politics. When you’ve been part of the community as long as Barrows, it’s called life. 

“Kids aren’t sufficiently old enough to be properly pissed off,” he told in 2015, adding, “Just wait … you’ll be suitable for punk rock when you are sufficiently used and start realizing what life is about. I was 27 when the Lincolns started if I remember correctly. Before that I played guitar in shitty rock bands.”

Chris Barrows Band, with Milk Spot and Armageddon Man, plays January 6 at the Poorhouse in Fort Lauderdale.
~ Tim Moffatt

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