Dundee Dance Factory NME, Dec 13th 1986
What a naive cheek. To name anything after a Steely Dan song, especially the one about learning to work the saxophone and dying behind the wheel. But this was only to lull us, for Deacon Blue come on, look ordinary as expected, and then play a bloodthirsty, blockbusting set.
Ricky Ross, writer and singer, has made something out of melody, fire and groove that resembles a Springsteen-fuelled Little Feat, with razor cuts and soul emotion. The songs tell stories and paint pictures, like 'Looks Like Spencer Tracey' (about the man who took snaps of the aftermath of Hiroshima for fun and posterity) and they all work.
The band are simply excellent. The vocal crossover between Ross and a magnificent, tiny girl singer are striking enough and the straightforward, unadorned excitement they produce is a wonder to behold. Admittedly there's a long line of influences, but it doesn't matter. The full-force motion and use of Americana is only a way of twisting all the classic ingredients of good pop into a home-grown rope of power. And they've learned to work the saxophone like naturals.