Much of the Dicks’ early output can most flatteringly be described as forgettable political punk, yet Gary Floyd’s mongrel Texas blues howl and some genuinely hooky snippets certainly snag attention (see Live at Raul‘s’ “Hate Police,” also recorded as the Dicks’ first single and later covered by Mudhoney). These People, recorded following a lineup shift occasioned by the Austin band moving to San Francisco and then everyone but Floyd moving back, displays a massive power shift into amphetamine blues territory, still riddled with hardcore violence but also embracing mood, pacing and proficiency. Including a much- improved tune from the live album the quartet shared with the Big Boys, it qualifies in retrospect as one of the hinge pins in punk’s metallic boomerang at the end of the ’80s.
Floyd assembled a new lineup and chose a new name to put further distance from past limitations. Sister Double Happiness elaborates on all of the previous band’s trends, but bluesier, more melodic, more metallic and more enduring. Heavily steeped in booze and depression and including a serious and sensitive examination of AIDS, the debut was also a farewell, as the band broke up soon after; in spiritual disarray, Gary Floyd exited music altogether. After a successful reunion gig in 1990, however, the band (with a new bassist) released a mediocre Sub Pop 45 pairing a nondescript hard rocker with a tastier, simplified bottleneck blues and then settled in to make a second album, Heart and Mind.
The posthumously released A Stone’s Throw From Love was recorded live in San Francisco in June 1992 and features songs from Heart and Mind as well as the then-upcoming Uncut.
After a final album that was only released in Germany, SDH broke up. Drummer/pianist Lynn Perko went on to co-found Imperial Teen. Guitarist Ben Cohen joined El Destroyo and Floyd went solo and then reunited with two former SDH bandmates, guitarist Danny Roman and bassist Miles Montalbano, to form Black Kali Ma.