MUSIC: The Lone Rangers Ride Again

Still bristly after all these years, a revived ZZ Top gets back to its boot-stompin' roots with a gloriously gritty new album

ZZ Top, the hirsute Texas trio, has always cut a jagged diagonal across the pop landscape. During the egocentric '80s, when Madonna, Duran Duran and Michael Jackson were using MTV to magnify their star appeal, ZZ Top put an ironic distance between itself and the camera, vamping behind Rip Van Winkle beards, trench coats and sunglasses. The group's slyly salacious videos about glossy cars and sassy girls were always delivered with a knowing wink. One clip ends with the band standing on the edge of a dusty desert, striking its trademark truckin' pose before fading like a mirage on an overheated...

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