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Jeffery L. Leek RSS Feed (Jefferson, NC)
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La Futura
La Futura
Price: $7.80
139 used & new from $2.50

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings, September 17, 2012
This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
What's tough for me about reviewing a new ZZ Top record is comparing it to the classic sound of their 70's records. I'm talking Rio Grande Mud, Tres Hombres, etc... Don't get me wrong. I totally respect ZZ Top, and other classic rock era artists for heading in new musical directions. As musicians, it would be stifling, I think, to continue producing the same sound over and over. Most good musicians (ZZ Top being in that category) are constantly influenced by an eclectic array of music. Guitarist Billy Gibbons (one of the best ever) hasn't shied away from his love of not only blues, and rock, but of Disco, reggae, etc... In addition, the band seems to be constantly striving to (at the very least, give a nod to the old), but push the boundries of experimenation, as well. All of this garners my utmost respect, but there are some mixed feelings on behalf of long time fans.

One thing that doesn't help, is the press (not sure who's responsible) that's been out there prior to several ZZ Top releases over the years. I can't count the times i've heard the following: "If you like "Tres Hombres", you are really going to like their upcoming release". The truth is: ZZ Top hasn't released anything that sounds like their 70's stuff since, "well", the 70's. I'm sure the advance press is designed to pump up record buyers, but if it's not true, why do this to the fans ?? Just be honest, and call it like it is. They have certainly marketed "La Futura" in this way, and while their is a hint here and there of the past, it's buried in what I call " That Fuzzy Guitar Sound". If Billy Gibbons likes that sound (obviously he does) I say go for it. Who am I to tell Billy Gibbons ( a protege of Jimi Hendrix) what to do; but personally, I want to hear the man tear it up, which he's even more capable of doing now.

So, here's the skinny: I like the new record. It's the best they've done in a while. Alot of the stuff they've released since "Recycler" has been a disapointment, although I did like "Rhythmeen". This new one gets them back on course a bit. There are more blatant nods to the past, but they still can't seem to get away from that (here we go again) "Fuzzy Guitar Sound", but the tunes are solid. You can purchase a special edition album version which includes some additional tunes that won't be on the regular release. I listened to those on a Rock and Roll Website last week. What's strange about the extra tracks is that they actually (in my opinion) are better than most of the tracks on the regular release, they rock, and are much more in line with sounding closer to what a fan of 70's ZZ Top might like. Go figure?? Maybe the band should decide to make the new tunes part of the regular release, as well. At least this way, fans who read the press about comparisons to "Tres Hombres" won't be completely dissapointed.

Jeff Leek
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2012 7:06 AM PST


Spirit of the Wild
Spirit of the Wild
Offered by rock it man
Price: $20.89
46 used & new from $0.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Nuge comes "Full Circle". Well, maybe 180, but that's a good thing!, February 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Spirit of the Wild (Audio CD)
When an established artist steers away from the road that led to success, results may vary. Should the route be an extension of their maturity as an artist, that success is bound to continue. Sometimes, however, an artist can take "A left turn on a red light", which Ted Nugent has done several times since the late 70's, but not on "Spirit of the Wild". Here, we find Nugent returning to what works best - a rhythm guitarist, with some of the best pipes in the business - Derek St. Holmes. Holmes was a vital element in the 4 ground breaking albums Ted Nugent released during the 1970's. Those being Ted Nugent Untitled, Free for All, Cat Scratch Fever, and Double Live Gonzo. Nugent is a good singer in his own right, but certain tracks are better for him. Example: Free or All and Cat Scratch Fever were tailor made for Ted, while Stranglehold or Stormtroopin could only be delivered by Derek.

On Spirit of the Wild, we see Ted returning to his senses by including Derek St. Holmes once again. It would be nice to see former bandmates Bob Grange (bass) and Cliff Davies (Drums) (both part of the 70's Jaugernaut that was Nugent) but just having the additional guitar and vocals (which, by the way, doesn't have to be St. Holmes) is what complements the genius that is Ted Nugent and takes him to heights he might not otherwise be able to reach.

This album contains the classic "Fred Bear"(vocals by Nugent), which is right up there with with any of the signiture tunes from his "Hey Day". Then you have "Love Jacker", penned and sung by St.Holmes. Both songs took me back to those early days and the thrill of listening to 1975's Ted Nugent Untitled (The first to feature St.Holmes). You can never repeat the past, but both tracks are in that same vein. There's also "Tooth Fang and Claw" a new, more intense rendering from the 1974 album (pre St.Holmes) of the
same name. There are so many good one's here: The title track, Heart and Soul, I Shoot Back - all classic Ted! There are tunes like "Thighraceas" and "Kiss my Ass", both, "over the top Ted" and "kinda campy", but the guitar injection of both, help to ease the pain.

What am I saying here? Buy it!!!! You won't be dissapointed. What else am I saying here? I like everything Ted Nugent has released, but it's like Jagger without Richards, or Lynyrd Skynyrd without Ronnie Van Zant. It's wonderful, but something is missing. On Spirit of the Wild, nothing is missing.

Jeff Leek
Jefferson, NC


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