Picks and Pans Review: Fink

updated 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Swamp Zombies

And now, vying for the title of the best new-wave neo-beatnik rock band in the world, here come the Swamp Zombies. Four nutso guys from Orange County, Calif., the Zombies lend a refreshing gust of hip humor to the not exactly frothy, almost-'90s pop music world. Playing upright bass, folk guitars and a kitchen-sink variety of percussive instruments, they deliver lean and slightly mean pop songs on this second all-acoustic album with the high-energy gusto usually reserved for bands that own an amplifier or two.

Their lyrics cover topics rarely set to music. One tune tells of a nightmarish carnival ride, the Zipper; another honors the clunky black shoes in vogue with trendy males, and a third parodies the mind-set of right-wing fraternity knuckleheads.

The simpler the lyrics, the more cutting the sarcasm. In "Dig a Hole in the Love Patch," the Zombs list favorite female traits: "I like girls who go to art school/ I think Batgirl's pretty cool/ I like girls with funny voices in their heads/ And I like girls who say no./ To drugs?/ No, to me." There's no accounting for romantic tastes. But when the Swamp Zombies make musical overtures, neo-beatniks—anyone needing a chuckle, in fact—should just say yes. (Dr. Dream)

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