The Dickies

Dogs from the Hare That Bit Us

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An eight-song, all-covers Dickies mini-LP? Why not! Remember these zany punks' terrific covers of "Nights in White Satin" (a classic even if you hate the Moody Blues), Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" (which basically inspired the Bad Brains to form!), and the cartoon themes to "Banana Splits" and "Gigantor"? In an era where everyone hated covers bands, the Dickies were the obvious exception, reinventing a bizarre array of choices with both furious intensity and hilarious humor. As it happens, Dogs from the Hare is not of the caliber of the great moments listed above, but only because it's a totally different breed of cover. These are tribute versions, done punk'n'pop, without need to be funny. Yet it's still frickin' great and a lot of fun. If the Dickies want to be just reverent fans, it still works. The Human Beinz's obscure, killer '60s hotfoot "Nobody But Me" has been in the Dickies' set for years (this recording is also on the Baseketball soundtrack). Elsewhere, you can tell the clown princes of punk were big Beatles fans, doing 1963's Merseybeat charmer "There's a Place," and they show more British Invasion smarts by doing the Hollies' immortal, stomping, super-melodic "I Can't Let Go" (a smash 1966 U.K. hit that somehow failed to chart in the U.S. until Linda Ronstadt murdered it in 1980), as well as Donovan's unusually zippy folk-rock popper "Epistle to Dippy," a 1967 hit. Leonard Graves' singing on these tunes shows how much he flat-out loves them; he's rarely sounded more giddy, and that's saying something! The overdubbed calls and responses on "Can't Let Go" are especially nice. Even songs by the Knack, the otherwise suspect Uriah Heep, and early Iron Butterfly sound good. With covers, the Dickies can do anything.

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