Monday, April 4, 2011

The Hickoids "Kicking It With The Twits"

(Saustex) (Guest Review by John Battles) OK, You're probably thinking, "Just what I needed, another tribute album.” But, give this one a chance, and remember, when an equal and opposite force meet it can get pretty messy. That's why a real Bar B Cue joint, like Dreamland in Alabama, will give you a whole roll of paper towels. In Texas, of course, it's all about brisket...and in England? Gee, I don't know, and I'm a little frightened to find out, so music will be the focus of our Cultural Exchange Program today. You didn’t want to eat that spotted dick, anyway, did you? The Hickoids, as closely associated with Texas as Whataburger and South By So What?, are not under the mistaken impression that Texas is a nation unto itself, as some people believe. That lone star is still one of 50, and our bestest buddy ally, collectively, is still England (later for politics, let's Rock'n'Roll…). Therefore, it makes perfect sense for a band of Suthin' Boys to cover some of their favorite Britoons, right? Especially when several of them are from the still-misunderstood Glam era (as I'm writing this, The New York Dolls are touring, third on a bill, to Poison and Mötley Crüe. Glam Rock fans won't even want to bother with the latter two). It also helps that Davy Jones is along for the ride. Oh, I'm sorry, did you think I, no, no, they just have the same name, buy a vowel. Standout track "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby (Standing in The Shadow)" benefits from Davy Jones' excellent guitar playing, which compliments Jeff Smith's spot on singing (he has Jaggeresque delivery without actually sounding like Jagger, if that makes sense). Jacob Schulze's keyboards give the practically-never covered Stones classic just the right sizzle. The Move's "Brontosaurus" is done pretty faithfully, retaining the subtleties that would go over or through most listener's heads. "Bennie and The Jets," well, for a song that really doesn’t go much of anywhere, The Hickoids managed to hold my interest with some fine pedal steel guitar parts Scott Lutz holding it together. "Gudbuy T'Jane" by Slade, which actually made the Top 100 in the states (I even heard it, briefly, on the radio) is done pretty true, lead bass and all. Smith doesn’t pretend he can hit the glass-shattering high notes of Noddy Holder on the original (sometimes , the best man for the job is a woman, and that woman is Muffy Kroha from The Sirens), but he turns in a respectable performance, just the same. Why, they even find time to do Eno's "Needle In The Camel's Eye" and rock it up some, though the original rocked in a "Roxy Music's First album, you know, the one with Eno on it" sorta way. "Neat, Neat, Neat" by The Damned, the one concession to 70s’ punk, wraps things up, at only 8 songs, but, it's a pretty good time. Still, I can't believe Tex Edwards didn’t implore them to do a Kinks song and a Troggs song.

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