Picks and Pans Review: The Honeymoon Is Over

updated 01/30/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/30/1995 01:00AM

The Cruel Sea

Already huge in Europe and in their native Australia, the Cruel Sea is set to splash onto these shores with its second full-length album. The Aussie quintet makes big waves with frontman Tex Perkins, a cocky, charismatic fellow who combines the best attributes of some disparate singers—Elvis's vocal snarl, Leonard Cohen's portentous croon, Nick Cave's sinister sex appeal and Michael Hutchence's raw bravado—on such numbers as "Delivery Man," "Blame It on the Moon" and the title song.

But as wonderful as Perkins is, he is overshadowed by Honeymoon's five piquant Cajun-tinged instrumentals. Tunes like "Orleans Stomp," whose rough-and-ready jubilance sounds like just that, and "Sly Din," which sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a science-fiction flick set in the outback, prove that voiceless pop doesn't have to be soulless and pointless too. Judging from this stellar marriage of instrumentals and vocal workouts, the Cruel Sea might be in for a long honeymoon with U.S. fans. (A&M)

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