Picks and Pans Review: Drums and Wires

updated 04/28/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/28/1980 01:00AM

XTC

While wearing out their first three Talking Heads albums and waiting anxiously for the fourth (maybe by fall), Heads heads can commune with these fellow travelers in rock's avant-garde. Similarities leap out at first listening: a brittle energy, cleanly articulated guitar, dialectical rhythms, cerebral choruses. The Heads have it in the lyrics (no New Wave rivals have topped succinct gems like "Forgot the trouble/That's the trouble"), but XTC is no Xerox. Guitarist Andy Partridge provides some audaciously experimental tunes (succeeding especially on Scissor Man, Real by Reel and Millions), while bassist Colin Moulding is responsible for the group's better-known and slicker pop numbers like Making Plans for Nigel. Americans hooked by this LP should know that the group's first two albums, currently available only as imports from their native Britain, will soon be released in the U.S. They are more challenging than Drums and Wires.

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