Hickoids – Kicking It With the Twits

January 01, 1970

 (Saustex Media)

 

         www.saustexmedia.com/

 

The Hickoids have been knockin’ around Austin and San
Antonio for over 25 years, cranking out red-hot cow-punk music, and while they
may be all hat and no cattle, they more than make up for that with their
naughty, snotty punkitude. Like Keith Richards, one has to marvel that they’ve
lived to tell the tale. In fact, one original member is deceased and another
has been a guest at the Graybar Hotel for two decades. They dropped their first
album Corntaminated in 1985, a feat
that would have killed most mere mortals, considering the drug and alcohol haze
it was thrown together under. Even though it wasn’t exactly a shining first
album, the band was voted Best Country Band at the Austin Music Awards that
year. Their second album, Waltz-A-Cross-Dress
Texas
, produced with the able assistance of Spot, from SST and Black Flag,
created the proverbial silk purse out of what started out as a not so silky hog
ear.

 

Trail boss Jeff Smith and trusty, long-time sidekick Davy
Jones, with a ranch house full of mostly new hands, plus a couple of friends,
have hit the dusty trail again, this time rustling a few classic tunes from the
Brits. Fond of tossing a few covers into their sets to keep their besotted
audience even further off balance, they dusted off eight of their favorites for
this odds and sods collection. The tunes range from the swinging Mod-era
London, through the short Glam era, on to safety pin-clipped punk rock, which
was actually only about a dozen years down the road from the foppish Mod-era
rock. Even though Kicking It may be
off-handedly dismissed by some blighters as just a cover’s record, it’s the
inspired playing on it that gives it serious pedigree. I’ve always said, ‘never
do a cover unless you can improve upon the original,’ or maybe I just heard it
somewhere, but they really polish up these golden oldies to a blinding new
lustre. 

 

The fun kicks off with “Pictures of Lily,” which could have
been rendered by Charlie Pickett & the Eggs. A plush velvet Edwardian
jacketed Who tune transformed into beer joint roadhouse rock.  Then they whip it up into a real lather on
“Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In the Shadows?” with the inclusion
of a soaring pedal steel guitar. Interestingly, Jeff’s vocals aren’t too far
off from Mick’s.  On The Move’s
“Brontosaurus,” they clip a nose-ring on it and drive its ass around the block
in high gear. Sax accompaniment helps pump up the energy. Never being much of
an Elton John fan, I was very skeptical about a cover of “Bennie and the Jets,”
but it turned out to be one of the better tunes in the group. They also met the
challenge of attempting Eno’s “Needle In the Camel’s Eye,” quite the stretch,
considering the band, but come away with a nice treatment. The album finishes
with “Neat Neat Neat,” which is handled in damned fine fashion. Mott the Hoople
and Slade are represented as well in the lineup.

 

 DOWNLOAD: “Have You
Seen Your Mother Baby…”, “Brontosaurus.”  BARRY ST. VITUS

 

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