Producer Rick Rubin is known for getting a tight, dry sound out of the hard rock bands he works with, and La Futura—the first new ZZ Top studio album in nine years—benefits from Rubin's oversight. Yes, "I Gotsa Get Paid" works over a hip-hop tune, but "Heartache in Blue" is true to the Chicago-gone-to-Texas blues that made ZZ Top a world-class blues-boogie-rock band in the '70s. Billy Gibbons coproduces and plays some of his dirtiest leads in decades. His voice rips with weathered passion, halfway to Bob Dylan's death-defying croak but with enough melody still in play to bring out the highlights in "I Don't Wanna Lose, Lose, You." The first four tracks were previously released as the iTunes-only Texicali collection. The additional six songs here rock with precision and some nicely distorted vocals. "Flyin' High" evokes AC/DC's power chords. "It's Too Easy Manana" cranks out a slow, burly, ominous blast. "Big Shiny Nine" picks up speed and a swagger, while "Have a Little Mercy" brings us back to the pure blues of ZZ Top's roots.