Many ZZ Top fans scoffed at AFTERBURNER as a step too far into the future for these Texas Boogie Rock merchants. With Billy Gibbons riffing away over mechanical sounding drum machines and synths, it's easy to see why some people felt album was some kind of sacrilege. It was obviously ELIMINATOR redux and attempts to recapture some of the magic of their 1982 mega-hit album. And as much as I might hate to admit it, it succeeded to a large degree.
The album is chock full of singles, including "Sleeping Bag", "Stages", "Rough Boy" and "Velcro Fly" and infectious tracks like "Can't Stop Rockin'". And while none of these songs might be regarded as ZZ Top's finest work, listening to them again is like riding a time capsule back to the mid-80s. I didn't think I'd enjoy revisiting this album as much as I did. The joyous giddy vibe of the album is hard not like. It's a reminder that rock & roll isn't really meant to be taken so seriously. It's a fun record that most will admit is at least good, if not great for having pulled this modern approach off one more time.