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Along with Big Boys, the Dicks were a powerful example of the early Texan hardcore scene. Influence of many contemporary bands, from the Jesus Lizard to Mudhoney and beyond. Members went on to form Sister Double Happiness, the Gary Floyd Band, Imperial Teen and Black Kali Ma. Of the original Texas line-up, Buxf Parrot was last heard from on a 7" and 12" by Trouser Trout. Includes their singles, selected album tracks and live material!
It must've taken balls the size of Texas to be a cross-dressing, loud-mouthed, left wing punk rocker in that state in the late 70s/early 80s, but that's exactly what Mr. Gary Floyd was. And he put up, instead of shutting up, as the lead mouth for the Dicks. This compilation is long overdue. Although the later incarnation of the band, with Gary the sole original member (having relocated to San Francisco), had its moments of plucky aggro, it's the original Dicks that left the imprint. "Dicks Hate The Police" is an unforgettable expression of rage. An ugly gnarl of guitar and Gary's bawl of "mommy mommy mommy" the opening salvo of defiance. The refrain "I've had a bad day" is still not far under my breath to this day and the band's gnashing style and osmosis of jazzy, funky and punk modes made for a jarring, original sound. Tension boils over for "Dead In A Motel Room," "Rich Daddy," "Anti-Klan," and the nasty "Saturday Night At The Bookstore." Jittery, slashing, and punk to the core, while smashing the barriers of conventionality at the same time. By the time Gary joined up with the newer Dicks, the politics were even more up-front and the thorniness still in evidence, albeit in a slightly less-crazed framework - still, "I Hope You Get Drafted," "Off-duty Sailor," and "Decent and Clean" exude a good amount of urgency, just not the crazed danger of the early 80s. Now, how about reissues of those early albums? (Suburban Voice)
For musicians, anger was not in short supply in 1980. It was requisite for punk, the flamethrower for hardcore, and it came in all shapes and sizes. In Austin, the arc between punk anger and nascent hardcore were the Dicks, the queerest of the queer. The Big Boys may have been bigger but the Dicks were harder. The Big Boys screamed but the Dicks seethed. The Big Boys were politically aware but the Dicks were political. And now the CD cornerstone of Texas punk can be laid with the release of Dicks 1980-1986. Tewnty-one tracks were culled for this take-no-prisoners collection, which covers both the Austin- and San Francisco-based bersions of the band, allowing even the most casual listener an unusually cohesive journey with the band from its first EP Dicks Hate the Police to their swansong track on the Texas punk compilation Cottage Cheese from the Lips of Death, "Guilbeau," a moody, Morrison-esque harbinger of lead singer Gary Floyd's next band, Sister Double Happiness. In between is an unholy union of raving anti-homophobia, anti-war, and anti-hate anthems laid out on the skeleton of classic garage-punk, and raising itself like Mr. Bones from the vinyl graveyard to do a tap-dance back into our skulls, if only to remind us just what punk at its best could be. The original Dicks - Gary Floyd, Buxf Parrot, Pat Deason, and the late Glen Taylor - open the album irresistibly off-beat and blindly off-key on the meandering fury of "Dicks Hate the Police," "Lifetime Problems" and the trite sentiment of "Fake Bands," then systematically recornstruct the politics of punk in "Saturday Night at the Bookstore":
"You... and your fat fucking wife coming out of Safeway on a Sunday afternoon and see me standing there and don't even speak to me... 'cause I sucked your cock through a gloryhole..."
The Dicks stomp this turf just as the Velvet Underground did with "Sister Ray," continuing with the utterly brilliant "Wheelchair Epidemic," and thrashers "Shit on Me," "Rich Daddy," and "Kill from the Heart." The band morphs on track 13, with Floyd in San Francisco, recruiting Tim Carroll, Lynn Perko, and Sebastian Fuchs, and marking distinctly more melodic social awareness, though no less compromising. By the time the Dicks zipped it closed forever in 1986, they did so with such savage grace no one who'd heard them walked away innocent. (Margaret Moser, Austin Chronicle)
I dunno how many of you youngsters (God, how patronising) will dig this sloppy punk shit, but I sure as hell do. The Dicks were an (almost seminal) Texan Punk band, equal parts Dead Kennedys, MDC, and garage rock. Apart from the moody material lifted off their These People album these 21 songs, that compile the highlights of their catalogue, are unashamedly raw (rough, even), but have an undeniable timeless power that transcends the half-assed production. (IG, Terrorizer)