Picks and Pans Review: Little Robbers

updated 10/24/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Motels

The Motels come by their cynical chic naturally; they hail from Los Angeles, home of such groups as X, Dead Hippie, Refried Brains and the Burning Sensations. What leavens their mood a little, though, is the acerbic wit of their composer-in-residence and New Wave chanteuse, Martha Davis, and the squawky saxophone playing of Marty Jourard. There are moments, in fact, when the Motels sound something like Quarterflash in a bad mood. This album is full of miscellaneous trepidations. The title song is an ode to the paranoia that comes with being surrounded by people trying to take things from you all the time; Trust Me is about how nobody trusts anyone anymore; Monday Shutdown is about strikes, and Where Do We Go From Here (Nothing Is Sacred) is about despair in general. There is also Davis and Kevin McCormick's Caribbean-influenced tune, Isle of You, which is as close to a standard torch song as Davis is likely to get in this incarnation. For all their morbidity, the Motels are musical. This is a splendid album, brimming with contagious energy. It makes you want to dance your way through whatever apocalypse may happen past.

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