ZZ Top's sound is buzzin' the way it used to back in the days when that Texas boogie trio put a new spin on the term "rock and roll animals." Whether their return to style will work the same kind of magic for them a decade later remains in the ear of the beholder, but one has to admire their hard- headed integrity anyway.
Top's latest album, "Eliminator," has all the cranky good humor and sweaty blues muscle of their early work; what it has that last year's "El Loco" sorely lacked is the raw energy to put it all over. On such songs as "Legs," "Bad Girl" and "Gimme All Your Lovin'," bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard put the pedal to the metal while Billy Gibbons steers his flashy blues guitar as if it were one of those chrome- toothed cars that keep looming up in the lyrics.
About those lyrics: Most are as silly and sexist as ever, right down to the evil-woman references and the preoccupation with macho pec-flexing. Still, it's hard to hate a band that can sing a straight-faced paean to the redeeming nutritional value of TV dinners on one side and the importance of dressing snappy on the other. ZZ TOP -- "Eliminator" (Warner 9 23774-1). Appearing Saturday at 8 at the Capital Centre.