Devo, the Akron quintet whose unique image has drawn much attention since a "Saturday Night Live" appearance two weekends ago, appeared at Georgetown University's sold-out Gaston Hall over the weekend.
Devo was hard put to live up to its TV appearance. The group proposes a vague social message about dehumanization that seems mostly intellectualized newspeak with a rock-'n'-roll bottom.
They are more avant-garde than new wave, and on those rare occasions when they cut away from their self-described "industrial rock for the 80's" they show themselves to be a competent though pedantic unit.
Despite a fascinating stage presence, it's hard to take Devo for very long. Their ideas are good, but narrow. The Tubes, an admittedly satirical group that takes hysterical [WORD ILLEGIBLE] shots at every music style, are more entertaining because their caricatures are drawn form a wider polette and are not so deadly serious.
If Devo is serious about its music, it will need to pass beyond mere talk of "de-evolution" and other tready conceptions. After all the entertainment industry has always tended more to the Marx brothers than to Karl. There's no reason to expect it to be different in the "80's".