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HICKOIDS (Buy CDs by this artist)
We're in it for the Corn (Toxic Shock) 1987 + 1988
Hard Corn EP (Toxic Shock) 1988
Waltz a Crossdress Texas (Toxic Shock) 1989

Cure the Butthole Surfers' hallucinatory madness but not their Texas junk-culture mentality or careening noise. Add country-western rhythms and some revved-up guitar licks, and that pretty much describes Austin's zealous Hickoids, America's only hard-corn (white thrash?) band. Whether they're adding lyrics to a familiar TV theme ("Williamanza") or delivering a cruel ode to one-armed farmers ("O.A.F. Anthem"), the band's colorful guitar work, four-on-the-floor punk overdrive and depraved sense of humor ("Animal Husbandry" mates man and cow) make We're in It for the Corn a raucous and funny souvenir of the Lone Star state. (The cassette adds four bonus cuts.)

Following the 7-inch Hard Corn EP (two originals and two freewheeling covers: "Corn Foo Fighting" and the Eagles' "Take It Easy"), the Hickoids ease up on the punk for more of a Tex-Mex/country flavor on the relatively slick second album, Waltz a Crossdress Texas. Using steel guitar, piano, trumpet and (yes!) flugelhorn, well-played jokes about transvestites, beer, sex and trucks are loaded with local color and the Hickoids' winningly sociopathic outlook.

[Ira Robbins]