La Futura

In the 1970s, ZZ Top broke through with a regional sound – simmering Texas blues – and then, in the next decade, reimagined their sound as global beer-joint pop. On their first album in nine years, the trio (along with producer Rick Rubin) place their bets on a sort of masterly skronk: sharp tunes ("Chartreuse," "Consumption") done with deceptively high-tech guitar distortions and rhythmic crunches. The results – from a crackling swampification of "I Gotsta Get Paid," a 1990s hip-hop track by Houston's DJ DMD with Lil' Keke and Fat Pat, to the soaring choruses of "Flyin' High" – prove these guys are still bad, speeding along and with warmth, humor, mystery and funk.

Listen to 'La Futura':

From The Archives Issue 1167: October 11, 2012
x