ZZ Top - La Futura

by Kevin Wierzbicki

How many of the folks who helped make ZZ Top MTV darlings and superstar arena-rockers back in the coke-saturated '80s are still interested in the band? Or the at the time teenagers who discovered the band early with a purchase of Rio Grande Mud or Tres Hombres in the mid-'70s? Many of these folks may have more pressing concerns now; with mortgages that are underwater and struggling offspring returning to the nest their idea of partying these days likely amounts to sipping a glass of sauvignon blanc while watching America's Got Talent. Still, if there's any hair left to be let down, ZZ Top fans now enjoying geezerdom can flash back to their glory days with this excellent new release from "That Little Ol' Band from Texas." La Futura finds the trio going back to their roots while also defining the sound they'll likely move more toward in the future. "I Gotsta Get Paid" is a growling rocker full of chunky rhythms and hot guitar grease that places the song squarely in a Tres Hombres mood while "Chartreuse," a bastardization of "Tush," will be instantly familiar and likable to fans. Interestingly, "Chartreuse" ends cold and "Consumption," a further breakdown of basically the same song to its blues roots, begins immediately. "Heartache in Blue" harkens to the pre-stardom sound the band favored on Rio Grande Mud while "Big Shiny Nine" is perhaps the most typical of the ZZ Top sound---double entendre-filled sing-along swagger. All in all La Futura cuts back a little on the stereotypical though and even finds the guys covering "It's Too Easy Manana," a thoughtful Gillian Welch/David Rawlings tune that they do an impressive job with. Long time fans who haven't boogied with the bearded ones for a couple of decades should have no hesitation whatsoever about picking this one up.

ZZ Top - La Futura

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