August 10, 1981 12:00 PM

The Tubes

If you want rock with heavy pectorals, there’s Van Halen or ZZ Top; if you want it with schmaltz, there’s Styx and REO Speedwagon; if you want it grandiose, there’s Pink Floyd; if you want it full of diodes and digital displays, there’s Kraftwerk or Devo. Only if you’re too rushed or confused to listen to the real thing (for better or worse) do you reach for this synthetic pep pill in its shiny New Wave container. Hailing from Arizona but based in San Francisco since the late ’60s, the Tubes are billing this album as the vindication of their music, long snowed under by the neo-Busby-Berkeleyed spectacle of their stage show. (At their 1974 “Streakers’ Ball” concert they offered to admit free anyone who showed up naked; around 200 did.) If lyrics like “Attack of the 50-foot woman/Our love was at an end/All she did to get her kicks/Was step on all the men” are vindication, we’ll stick with the indictment.

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