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ZZ Top

Although MTV has long since abandoned music-video vanguards ZZ Top, compare XXX to any of the neogrunge bands the network currently champions and you’ll see who the real boss is. XXX boasts no gimmicks, just balls-out blues rock by a group that bulldozes over contemporary bands half its age. All but one of the CD’s eight studio tracks and four live songs are spanking new. While there are no future classics à la “Sharp Dressed Man” or “Legs,” ZZ Top dishes up a generous helping of tasty guitar licks and tasteless lyrics. Songs like “Pork Chop Sandwich” and “36-22-36” won’t win any PC awards anytime soon, but the group’s fan base has never really included feminists—or vegetarians, for that matter. ZZ Top has survived every music trend of the last thirty years, and XXX proves that the trio still has the sound to take on the next thirty.

Originally published in the Orlando Weekly on October 28, 1999.