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Idjit Savant

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Album Review

Dickies LPs are like comets: rarely sighted, always great. The fourth LP over a 16-year career and first since 1989's Second Coming is another humorous punk-pop LP that brings huge smiles. If a little more spotty than Second Coming, there's still plenty of lip-smacking tunes highlighted by the band's obvious strength all these years, singer Leonard Phillips. His cartoonish delivery has sometimes obfuscated what a fine singer he actually is. You see that here on "Toxic Avenger," guitarist Stan Lee's Motörhead/Kiss/Queen/Ozzy parody (complete with MOR keyboards/guitars) that contains the LP's biggest hooks, thanks to Phillips' consummate singing. "Out of the rust and into the slime/Everyone thinks that he's out of his mind" is a big hook, a scream of a superhero sendup. Many missed "Just Say Yes" on the previous year's "Roadkill" single, but it's the hottest Dickies-pop since the song it openly rips off, the Dawn of the Dickies single "Manny, Moe & Jack." "Zeppelina" is good goofy-gas, and "Elevator" and "Pretty Ballerina" are the sort of great '60s radio pop the band moved into in the late '80s, both done so well they should've been splashed all over the radio. And to revisit another old theme, "Stuck in a pagoda with Tricia Toyota" is updated to "Stuck in a condo with Mr. Marlon Brando": "He's big and hairy/He's really scaring me." Prepare to burst out laughing, thinking of obese Marlon in the New York Post, when that comes on. Once upon a time, the Dickies were about the only U.S. punk band that sold records anywhere, with six straight U.K. hit singles. A decade and a half later it was "the year that punk broke," and no one seemed to want to know the Dickies not only still existed, but that they were killer and comic as ever.


Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Dickies were the clown princes of punk, not to mention surprisingly longstanding veterans of the L.A. scene. In fact, by the new millennium, they'd become the oldest surviving punk band still recording new material. In contrast to the snotty, intentionally offensive humor of many comedically inclined punk bands, the Dickies were winningly goofy, inspired mostly by trashy movies and other pop culture camp. Their covers were just as ridiculous as their originals, transforming arena rock anthems...
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Idjit Savant, The Dickies
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