When you think about bands that have been around for multiple decades, The Hickoids is probably not the first band that comes to mind. However, this is a band that has paid its dues and made the rounds dating back to the mid-80s. On their new album All the World’s a Dressing Room: Live in L.A., the band shows it hasn’t lost a thing in all of its years of performing.
The first thing that you notice about this recording is the similarity to Mojo Nixon and The Toadliquors. Specifically, this recording is raucous, raunchy, and funny. Beyond that, this band also has a thing for Elvis as evidenced by “Burnin Luv”. No matter how much energy The King ever put into the song, he probably never envisioned that it would be performed in such a raucous manner.
The same could be said for the other covers on the album. For example, the cover of Bennie and The Jets” is way different than the original version. This version is much louder and more distorted than the Elton John version. While it is obviously a send-up, it also features some pretty good licks on the guitar and piano. Even television themes are not safe from the Hickoids treatment. “Barnyard Medley” is a medley of the themes from Hee Haw, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction. The latter of which truly gets the Hickoids treatment with lyrics that are far too raunchy to be on television even now, let alone the 60s.
Since the show was recorded in L.A., the band shares some of its experiences with the L.A. punk scene. As an intro to “Queen of the Bar-B-Q”, Jeff Smith shares a story about Texacala Jones of Tex and The Horseheads and Top Jimmy (of The Rhythm Pigs). It’s an entertaining interlude that gives a glimpse into the L.A. punk scene in the 80s.
If you haven’t found enough to draw you in, “Pennsylvania Mexican” ought to do the trick. This is a loud and sleazy hoedown. However, if you find you can sit still during this song, you just might be a droid.
This album is cowpunk at its finest. It is loud and fast, but most of all it is fun. You can’t help but be in a good mood with the tempo and the raunchy lyrics of these songs.