Picks and Pans Review: One Way Home

updated 09/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Hooters

The second album from this Philadelphia quintet is no day at the beach. It does kick off with the hard-rocking Satellite, a cynical (what else?) look at TV evangelism. But there's a stiffer, more martial beat to this than most of the songs on the group's debut, Nervous Nights. Other tracks display a similar rhythmic formalism, as if the Hooters were slaves to a metronome martinet instead of drummer David Uosikkinen. Melodically many songs evince a dark, Celtic folk influence, in the vein of the Pentangle or Fairport Convention, a trait reinforced by the frequent use of accordion, lute and mandolin. The lyrics dwell on apocalyptic visions or near despair, as in Karla With a K: "Oh where can my salvation be/ A tender touch to comfort me." All these tendencies dovetail on the album's worst song, the heavy-handed and dour Graveyard Waltz, which resembles Procol Harum scoring a Washington Irving story. As on the band's first album, the scattered reggae tracks sound fairly gratuitous. The best track is Engine 999, a pounding rocker with a catchy chorus and foaming energy. As produced by Cyndi Lauper collaborator Rick Chertoff, this is a well-crafted collection technically. But people who became fans of the band on the basis of its relatively carefree first album should be forewarned: Shadows are looming. (Columbia)

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