December 05, 1988 12:00 PM

David Lindley & El Rayo-X

Just to keep Bragg and Shocked in perspective, take a listen to Lindley, who suggests Al Yankovic in a vaguely serious mood. A stalwart of the L. session scene who has lent brilliant splashes of guitar work to records by the likes of Jackson Browne and Warren Zevon, Lindley is a bit of a cutup. These 10 tunes are all on the campy side, including the only one Lindley had a hand in writing, Talkin’ to the Wino. The Frizz Fuller song Texas Tango is a typical vehicle for Lindley’s humor (“I met a man in Amarillo/ He made me wrestle his gorilla”), and his inventions include a reworking of Zevon’s Werewolves of London with a reggae twist. Sapping the soul from the Temptations’ Papa Was a Rolling Stone and turning it into something laughable wasn’t the greatest idea Lindley ever had, though, and while he is known for his versatility (he plays a number of stringed instruments), he sticks with a basic Rasta beat on most of these songs. That makes the album seem drab. Yet one can’t feel too harsh when Lindley is obviously having such a good time, and when he gets to the finale, Tiki Torches at Twilight, a hilarious ode to bad office parties, few listeners are going to bear him any grudges: “Tiki torches at twilight/ Hula girls at the bar/ All the guys from the office/ Are throwing up in their cars.” (Elektra)

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