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SKUNKS (Buy CDs by this artist)
The Skunks (Republic) 1982

This Texas trio (not the British band of the same name) was led by bassist/singer Jesse Sublett, whose previous group included future Go-Go Kathy Valentine. An earlier incarnation of the Skunks stuck a couple of neat tracks on an Austin compilation LP; the band on The Skunks includes a pair of brothers who were previously two-thirds of that city's Terminal Mind. But enough history.

Produced by Earle Mankey, The Skunks is better-than-average melodic rock that draws on Southwestern musical traditions to give it special character, but isn't ethnic enough to be confused with the more colorful outpourings of Tex-Mex. The trio shares songwriting duties with consistently solid results; a novel reworking of the Yardbirds' "For Your Love" suggests an adventurous streak as well.

In recent times, Sublett has turned to fiction writing, publishing a 1989 crime novel set in Austin's rock scene.

[Ira Robbins]