Apart from a primitive light show the Psychedelic Furs recall the Electric Prunes at any of their acid-age breathren in names only. The Furs, who appeared last night at the Bayou, more readily bring to mind the sound of the Sex Pistols and Ian Dury and the Blockheads than any product of '60s Psychedelia.
On alternate songs, lead vocalist Richard Butler duplicated Johnny Rotten's raw heaves and Dury's cool detachment with remarkable accuracy. Creating those sounds didn't seem to be a conscious effort on Butler's part so much as a natural function of his raspy British accent. Still, the comparisons were unavoidable -- up to a point.
The Furs never approached the anarchic level of energy unleashed by the Pistols or matched Dury's droll observations. Yet, some of their new songs suggest a happy medium. The best of the lot -- "Pretty in Pink," "She's Mine," and "Mister Jones" -- are strong enough to stand on their own and should win the band a sizable New Wave audience.
For musicians with ties to psychedelic rock, as tenuous as they are, guitarist Roger Morris and saxophonist Duncan Kilburn displayed a refreshing degree of restraint and melodic invention.