Picks and Pans Review: Friendly as a Hand Grenade

updated 05/28/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/28/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT


This record is bookended by two sections of "Ska Trek," a bullgoose gonzo taste of Caribbean horns written by Prince Buster. Don't expect to find anything very familiar in the eight songs in between, either. Tack-head is made up of the instrumental core of bass player Doug Wimbish, guitarist Skip McDonald and drummer Keith LeBlanc, three sought-after session players who helped put rap on the map, plus mixmaster Adrian Sherwood and vocalist Bernard Fowler. Drifting between acid house and funk, they wield an ironic indignation on tracks like "Stealing," which takes greedy evangelists to task and "Airborne Ranger," a none too alluring recruiting theme.

The salient component in Tackhead's strong, unique sound is Sherwood's cut-and-paste, drum-till-you-drop mixes. Like Fishbone, the L.A. ska-funk-punk band, this group is having fun with the music and still making it kick. Also like Fishbone, they have a fierce sound and attitude, but not one that is melodically inviting. (TVT)

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