Picks and Pans Review: Fair Warning

updated 07/06/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Van Halen

Possibly to let you know that even leering swaggerpusses have a finer side, the boys have taken to tossing in a token change-of-pace cut. On last year's Women and Children First it was the acoustic romp Take Your Whiskey Home. Now it's the reggae-tinged strutter Push Comes to Shove. Both confirm that Eddie Van Halen, the new spouse of One Day at a Time's Valerie Bertinelli, truly knows his way around a guitar. Both, however, seem like exercises in nose-thumbing at critics: See, you pen-wielding ninnies, we're not cavemen, we're pros; we can put across any style we want. In a way, this is the trouble with Van Halen. Unlike, say, the Clash, who keep challenging their equally young and devoted constituency, Van Halen only squeezes out the same greasy kid stuff. This group never advances the form—that's the giveaway of no risk. All they are committed to in the end is a formula that pays.

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