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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Soy Cowboy Stirs Up the Melting Pot at Club Lingerie

April 05, 1993|STEVE HOCHMAN

Calling itself "not just another Thai Western band," Soy Cowboy sometimes belabored its cross-cultural gimmick at Club Lingerie on Friday. Heck, sometimes the Los Angeles-based group worked it to death , with witty frontman Joe Romersa dressed like Clint Black in a black cowboy hat and duster and Sarah Sihaman and Prinya Kusupholnand setting Thai vocal lines to the East-West fusion-rock of the accomplished band.

This stirring of the melting pot has little of the artiness of Talking Heads' explorations or the breadth of 3 Mustaphas 3 to undercut the shtick. But it works on its own fun terms--the likes of "Sticky Rice" would have fit well on pre-Depeche KROQ, sandwiched between "Mexican Radio" and "Rock Lobster."

One song, "In the Shadow of the Wat," even backed off from the self-conscious exoticism and showed the band to be more than just a one-joke act.

But mostly it was musical mee krob, crunchy and sweet, even on versions of the Stones' "Paint It Black" and the city slicker standard "I'm an Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande."

If it doesn't hit the big time here, it should knock 'em dead at the Bangkok Hilton.

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