The Hick-Ups CD Release Party and Cow Punk Party @ Schmidy’s Tavern, Friday, Dec 5 @ 9pm
By Lisa Morgan
Step into Schmidy’s Tavern this Friday night, and you will be treading on some sonic trailer park territory the likes of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Zack Huskey, one of our desert’s authentic originators of heavy desert, DIY rock has brought an old project from the 80’s to life, and it has come back swingin’! The Hick-UPs debut album will be released (or should I say, unleashed) at their show. Only 40 DVD copies will be available for sale ON THE PLANET, so you will want to get there early. I’m convinced that 90% of anyone reading this article is going to fall in love with this rambunctious, desert guitar driven cow-punk-a-billy, and those performing it in full character.
“A lot of us grew up in the desert playing in punk or punk related bands in the 80’s,” shared Zach. “Some of us moved to L.A. (Hollywood) in the mid to late 80’s. Sean Wheeler was in L.A. (we had been in bands together as kids in the desert) and he was playing in his different projects. Joe Dillon, Mario Lalli, Scott Reeder, Laurel Stern, and more were all in and out of there. Robin Clewell was in the Phenobarbie Dolls, and I had a band at the time called Long, Dead and Gone. It was what we used to call CowPunk. It was a great time to be in Hollywood – before they “fixed” it.”
“A few years later, my wife, Erica, and I were living in South Orange County as was Sean Wheeler, Dino Dormizzi and other desert rats. So Erica, Sean and I started a band called The Hick-ups. I came up with this wonderful name, and I was surprised to find it still available after all these years. We were part blues, part country and part punk n’ roll. We wrote some songs, rehearsed and played one show in O.C. After that, we just sort of broke up. It was a good sounding, fun band, while it lasted. Erica and I moved back to the desert and started Dali’s Llama. Sean stayed in O.C. for a while and started Throw Rag. That was over twenty years ago.” Dali’s Llama and Throw Rag are still heavily followed bands to this day.
After recording 25 albums over the years, Zach reassembled players for The Hick-Ups at B@1 Studios in Brea, California. The musicians recorded the entire 14 song album in two days, LIVE. Vocals were dubbed in later, but this entire album was recorded the old school punk rock way – with all the members in one room, playing and recording all their parts together. Zach describes the band as “the new, older and grumpier band with a good batch of songs and some old friends to play them.” The album? Well, all I can say is it is absolutely stellar. You truly feel the energy they were trying to capture by recording this the way they did. All 14 songs are written by Zach. These sometimes rebellious, at times serious, but mostly tongue and cheek themes truly come together through the individual parts. They work together seamlessly to recapture the tone and vision that brought the Hollywood club scene to life in the 80’s. Considering the amount of satire involved, if each of these individual players weren’t all on the same page, this music might not have worked for many. But that is not the case. In my opinion, this is a record and a band that everyone but the “hoity-toity” will blast loudly (and even they will probably listen to it when no one’s watching). The blend of male and female vocals that Zach and Robin add, finesse the entire project. And Dali’s Llama fans, do not “fret”, so to speak. Zach still delivers those heavy, badass licks he’s known for, but this time, he gets to show off his skill and flair for Chuck Berry. I can some up this band and this album perfectly, in the words of Zach Huskey: “YEE-FUCK’N-HAW!”