At varying intervals in the last three decades, the Hickoids have staked their claim over defiantly crass and discomfortingly honest cow punk. Meanwhile, they’ve interspersed borderline parodic country ballads and bluegrass sing-alongs. Their latest, Kicking It With The Twits, is a mini-LP of classic Brit-rock covers. It’s a post-millennial album soaked in the washed-out noise of vinyl rock, where the Hickoids elevate their genre-melding to masterful imitation underscored by subtle reinvention. They endow The Who’s “Pictures of Lily” with little more than a change in setting, from a sterile studio to what sounds like a reverb-drenched bar. The Move’s “Brontosaurus” features a lengthier end jam than the original, with vocalist Jeff Smith scream-singing endlessly over layered guitars. “More raw, more loud” seems to be the formula here. It helps that the Hickoids picked a damn good rock ’n’ roll set list. Their stellar rendition of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” is nearly note-for-note, except driven by a pile of crunchy guitars and Smith’s unpretentious vocals (he doesn’t even bother with the falsetto). See them Friday, March 11, at the Mix.
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