The Dickies

Second Coming

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With the Killer Klowns EP restoring the band to more of an active duty, the Dickies fully got their act back together with Second Coming, amusing angel/sainthood cover and all. The core Stan Lee/Leonard Graves Phillips partnership remains the same, while the core band, including bassist Lorenzo Buhne, guitarist Enoch Hain, and drummer Clifford Martinez, backs up everything with the expected élan. Things aren't quite at the same all-out just-insane-enough level of the original band in terms of performance -- volumes are sometimes lower, arrangement a touch less hyperactive -- but in terms of good spirit and good fun, Second Coming is an entertaining romp. Two covers continue the tradition of out-of-nowhere "you're covering that?" reactions -- while "Hair" and "Town Without Pity" aren't given the sheer high-speed/slam-dance treatment of times past, it's nice to see the group still tweaking the nose of what's hip and acceptable. The latter in particular is an amusing effort -- straightforward enough, but hearing Phillips instead of Gene Pitney's wailing makes for an interesting change! As for the originals, mostly from the pen of Phillips, things are off-kilter enough, as always, to make for a good time. "Magoomba" reappears from Killer Klowns, guest vocals from Phillips' mom and all, while "Monster Island" celebrates the legendary locale from the Godzilla series with surfy vibes. "Cross-Eyed Tammy" slots into the vein of sweet and silly power pop à la "Pretty Please Me" and "Out of Sight"; "Caligula" reads like the world's weirdest Iron Maiden parody ever (and why not?); and "Booby Trap" makes for a new way to look at goth girls. Even "Goin' Homo," which on the face of it would seem insulting, is good-natured silliness at quick speed -- "Why did god make men with nipples?" indeed.

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