Picks and Pans Review: Side Kicks
updated 04/25/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/25/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
There are three of them—in fact, there used to be seven. None are related and none are named Thompson. So much for truth in labeling. This U.K. threesome actually borrowed their name from a British comic strip featuring a pair of fumbling private eyes. For Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway, though, black pedal-pushers, floppy shirts and mutant coiffures are more in the mode. Their musical stock-in-trade is danceable pop that might be called space-age pub music. The melodies are simple and fun. The instrumentation is almost wholly synthesized. Bailey, for example, is not credited with drumming, but with "drum programmes." The emphasis, even on dour-titled tunes like Lies or Tears, is on having a good time rather than artistic pretension, as it is with America's frolicsome B-52's. The Thompsons' music is heavy on the beat, but instead of digging a rut with rhythm, they use it as a kind of trampoline to bounce on. Cheerio.