ZZ Top is the Houston based rock group that was established in 1969. Known for their rhythm, humor and vocal style, the band consists of Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals), Frank Beard (percussion) and Dusty Hill (bass, vocals). For the first time in nine years, the band is releasing a new album that many are hailing as a return to their early and formative sound. I completely agree. La Futura is a gritty blend of blues and roots rock that had me kicking back and enjoying myself heartily.
Earlier in the summer, four songs from the album were released as an exclusive EP. Listening to these first, it was easy to see why they achieved good ratings. “I Gotsta Get Paid” is the first track on the album. It was performed in video spots for the Jeremiah Weed line of beverages and was inspired by an underground Houston rap song “25 Lighters.” You can hear references to the song throughout the piece, intermingled with a gritty Texas funk that made me proud to call Houston my home. There is a special flavor that barrels out of the speakers as soon as the riffs start blowing smoke and fire. The growling vocals edge out and are accompanied by textured guitar, bass and percussion that have so much groove, if you aren’t moving around and shaking something, then you have no pulse. This song is smoldering.
“Consumption” wails to life with electrified riffs and some pretty wicked percussion. Fire couldn’t burn hotter than this smokin whip crack of a Texas two-step. Drinking, partying and having a hell of a good time never felt so good. The band has captured a sound that enraptures the soul. It is addiction incarnate. You wouldn’t mind going to Hell so much as long as they keep playing.
“Heartache In Blue” is a funky modern blues song with some twisty guitar riffs and vocals by Gibbons and Hill. Harmonica playing gives it an extra down home feeling, combined with the guitar action and percussion.
“Have A Little Mercy” is the last song on the album. It erupts to life with an edgy grit that will have you rolling your hips and strutting to this seduction of sound. Innuendos abound with this bluesy number, complete with tempo shift and some wicked riffs that will have you closing your eyes as the vocals trail on your skin like a lover’s kiss. Kind of scratchy, like their beards, but oh so nice. Think fine chocolate melting slowly and then chugging it with a nice cold beer.
ZZ Top has been on the scene since 1969. Touring heavily, they have never stopped making music and fans are relieved that after nine years, an album has finally emerged. La Futura is a blast from the past and a gritty Texas twister that is taking the world by storm. Full of humor, innuendos and blues, this roots rock band has crafted an album that will stand the test of time. From the four songs on the Texicali EP and the others that will follow on the September release of La Futura, each piece has its own flavor. The bluesy lament of “Heartache In Blue,” the grinding smoky flair of “I Gotsta Get Paid” and “Consumption” and the sex on wheels sound of “Have A Little Mercy” are just a few of the jewels in this crown. If you are a ZZ Tops fan, this album will make your heart bleed happy.
Key Tracks- Gotsta Get Paid, Consumption, Heartache In Blue, Have A Little Mercy
August 14, 2012