April 01, 1991 12:00 PM

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Slip a comma into the middle, and the title becomes an apt rallying cry for Thorogood’s brand of bar-brawl rock and roll.

Try on the single “If You Don’t Start Drinking (I’m Gonna Leave).” Over a rough-riding bedrock foundation. Thorogood implores his woman to adopt a more decadent lifestyle so that they can regard the world through the same shot glass.

The Delaware bad boy in fact spends this album filling out a familiar dance card, from the bluesy “Long Distance Lover” to the battering-ram boogies of “No Place to Go” and “Hello Little Girl.”

Longtime producer Terry Manning has made the sound cleaner and, if possible, more stripped-down than before. Even Furious George’s pungent cheap cigar of a voice is a little smoother, and his guitar doesn’t buzz through your brain with the same reckless disregard.

The album contains unprecedented variety too. There’s a restrained reading of the Dave Dudley barn burner “Six Days on the Road,” a sedate country ballad, “Oklahoma Sweetheart,” and even the nimbly picked, acoustic “Can’t Be Satisfied.”

There are some disappointments here, such as the blustery title track and a drab cover of Nick Gravenites’s “Born in Chicago.” But for the most part, the music has the same drive and bluesy authenticity that have made Thorogood one of rock’s biggest rabble-rousers. (EMI)

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