's second release, 1987's If'n
, was a major improvement over their 1986 debut, Ragin', Full On
. And while their third album, 1988's fROMOHIO
, was another solid set and contained its share of highlights, it seemed to be cut from the same musical cloth as its predecessor rather than a true progression. Again, the playing is inspired, and the new band had already established an original, identifiable sound. The best tracks prove to be Ed Crawford
originals -- "In My Mind" and "Time with You" (the latter was an MTV video), while "Whisperin' While Hollerin'" and "What Gets Heard" soon became concert staples. The band's appreciation of folk shines through with a reading of the traditional black folk song "Vastopol" and the original "Liberty for Our Friend," and drummer George Hurley
takes center stage on a pair of short, unaccompanied drum solos -- "Let the Drummer Have Some" and "'Nuf That Shit, George." Other highlights include the album opener "Riddle of the Eighties," the funky "Mas Cojones," the laid-back rock of "If'n" and "Understanding," plus the lethargic album closer "The Softest Hammer."