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APACHE DANCERS (Buy CDs by this artist)
War Stories (Happy Hermit/IRS) 1990

Bernadette Colomine has one of those ooh-la-la French accents that can make grown men blush; guitarist Tom Durbin sings in the lonesome voice of someone who wishes he were raised on a strict diet of Hank Williams. That wild cultural contrast is what makes this LA-based cowboy-rock quartet (which includes Rank and File's old drummer) so uncommon and, in one spot, uncommonly good: "You're the Reason," the non-original duet which opens War Stories, is a left-field country-rock grabber. Unfortunately, most of the album (haphazardly co-produced by Earle Mankey) is an either/or proposition, offering Colomine's unsteady pitch (in English and French) without Durbin's rugged resonance (his melodic skills are only a little better) or vice versa. Additionally impaired by his terrible guitar playing and dumb-ass lyrics, Apache Dancers can be as incomprehensible and off-putting as their namesakes.

[Ira Robbins]