April 30, 1990 12:00 PM

The Tail Gators

These three Austin-based bad boys grind it up good through 13 swamp-stomping, roots-rocking cuts, beginning with the boisterous “Hallelujah, I’m Coming Home” right to the windup “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.” Front man and former LeRoi Brothers lead guitar-vocalist Don Leady has set aside his fiddle and accordion this time to serve up some of the tastiest, twangiest guitar work since the Gators’ breakthrough Mumbo Jumbo LP in 1986.

Drummer Gary “Mudcat” Smith and bassist Keith Ferguson, who early on played with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, make this a fearsome threesome as they pump out such rockabilly, blues and country-laced numbers as the hard-edge “Hoodoo” and the sinewy, sidewinding “Shake Dance.” (In the Gators’ current touring lineup, Ferguson has been replaced by J.J. Barrera.) Longtime fans of Bayou boogie songwriter and guitarist Al Ferrier, Leady and his sidekicks pull off a sweetly sly cover of “Let’s Go Boppin’ Tonight,” and they add a dash of red-hot pepper to Willie Mitchell’s already tangy “20-75.”

What these guys do has been called everything from swampabilly to gumbo rock, but you’ll have more fun skipping the semantics and just going straight for the volume control, which is where the true meaning of this Lone Star band comes through loud, kick-ass and clear. (Restless)

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