ZZ Top

La Futura (American)

Texas Platters

ZZ Top

La Futura (American)

Like the Beach Boys' diaphanous "That's Why God Made the Radio" this summer, "I Gotsta Get Paid" – sparking up ZZ Top's 15th album and first since 2003's prickly Mescalero – constitutes an instant indelible for the next essentials collection. La Futura has its crystal ball moments, all right. Produced by überconsultant Rick Rubin and the little ol' Houston trio's hard drive, Billy F. Gibbons, kickoff single "I Gotsta Get Paid," adapting a grunge-era DJ track from Bay City, sets a sonic template any blues band would gladly sell their hats and souls for. Imagine a steady stream of Texan SUVs running over the CD, vinyl record, or hell, even MP3s, in a gravel parking lot during a downpour before it finally decomposes. That's 21st century ZZ Top: the apex of grit. Team Top then takes that same idea – adaptation – and turns it on itself, copping the riff from "Tush" for "Chartreuse" ("you know I like a big caboose"). Damned if it doesn't work, too. As has been the habit following 1983's Eliminator and its underrated follow-up Afterburner, tone and tempo barely vary after that, "Consumption" a plodding dirge next that's deliciously one-note in accompanying its title. Even lower and slower rolls Gibbons' gruff but endearing ballad "Over You," Dusty Hill's harmony vocal for "Heartache in Blue" afterward only emphasizing the bassist's criminal underutilization throughout. La Futura crumbles into more of the exact same-y after that, whether it's the repetition of "I Don't Wanna Lose, Lose, You" or the dinosaur thud of "Flyin' High," which counter to its title might actually be reptilian and/or subaquatic. Also lacking are more BFG moments like the guitarist's spacey, at times woozy, solo on the brooding blues "It's Too Easy Mañana," which taps the band's ancient (early Seventies) past. By proper LP close, "Have a Little Mercy," another back catalog nod copped to by its title, ZZ Top has finally ground to a halt despite Dusty Hill getting his vocal licks in on closing bonus blow-off "Drive By Lover." Pass the purple drank.

**.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More ZZ Top
Crazy From the Heat
ZZ Top
DVDnds

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 8, 2014

ZZ Top
ZZ Top
Tracking the beards

Tim Stegall, Dec. 27, 2013

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
SXSW Music Review: Nine Mile Records & Touring Serves Up Tacos, Lone Stars, and Roots Galore at the Continental Club
Nine Mile Records & Touring Serves Up Tacos, Lone Stars, and Roots Galore at the Continental Club
Welcome to the Virtual Live Music Capital of the World

March 20, 2021

SXSW Music Review: Finland – The Happiest Country in the World – Presents the Showcase Must Go On
Finland – The Happiest Country in the World – Presents the Showcase Must Go On
“South by Southwest, I said put your fucking hands up!”

March 19, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

ZZ Top

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle