Picks and Pans Review: Purity of Essence
updated 06/15/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/15/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Graham Parker owed much of his acid sting to this foursome, which backed up all six of his albums. As individuals, they've lent their punch to tours or discs with Nick Lowe, Carlene Carter, Garland Jeffreys and Elvis Costello. Like Rockpile, the Rumour tracks its lineage to the English pub-rock scene of the early '70s and shares the same virtues: a wry outlook, buoyant and frequently charming melodies and a sexy-tough instrumental attack. On guitar, Martin Belmont and Brinsley Schwarz are versatile, economical, sly and, when need be, simply overpowering. On this, their own third LP (titled after the catch phrase loony Air Force officer Sterling Hayden mouthed in the film Dr. Strange-love), the Rumour flies high, freed of Parker's heavy burden of cynicism and anger.