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This review is from: Tres Hombres [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
Of the handful of ZZ Top albums I've heard, this one features Billy Gibbons's familiar dense guitar sound the least. The result is that it has more impact when it does appear. It also makes for an album of greater scope, one in which each song carves out a separate identity. Curiously, 'Waitin' For The Bus' is a relatively unremarkable track to start with, being a routine blues that seems to serve as a warm up. As soon as the band kick into 'Jesus Just Left Chicago', they step up a couple of gears. 'Beer Drinkers...' maintains the momentum, but it's the brilliantly understated, eerie guitar that makes 'Master Of Sparks' special.
Religious references are scattered across the album, but there's always a feeling that the devil is lurking in the shadows. The slow 'Hot, Blue and Righteous' is an oasis in this respect, but 'Move Me On Down The Line' resumes the hard rocking. 'Precious And Grace' is the sole track that relies heavily on Gibbons's trademark guitar, while the US hit, 'La Grange' builds superbly on a stark opening.
The token live bonuses are clearly there to fill the CD out. ZZ Top don't seem to me to be the kind of band who'd have a lot of rare b-sides cluttering their archives. The original album is fine on its own and is a contender for title of best ZZ Top release.