Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
HAMICKS : “KNEE WALKING” CD…..There’s a whole category of bands, alluded to in my Pink & Brown review a couple months ago, that I like to call “Middle Bands”. These are the rock combos and trios that usually slot in the middle of a three-band bill, and who dutifully keep the stage nice and warm for the headliner you actually paid to see. Usually they’re fairly innocuous, often a little bit talented, and are sometimes even worth watching as long as – and only if – you’ve got a couple of beers on board. If one drew a curve representing all the rock bands on the planet, it would likely distribute into a bell shape, with the 2.4 Billion “Middle Bands” bulging and heaving across the middle. Enter the HAMICKS from Chicago, a clear-cut middle band if there ever was one. Their rompy, calliope-sounding new wave garage rock is outstandingly tepid, wildly middle of the road, and aggressively average. While I’ll give them a few points for the most dead-on David Bowie vocal imitation I’ve ever heard, I’ll subtract for the ham-fisted riffs that fizzle out and crash just when they’re getting a tiny bit interesting. If these fellas hit your town on their big tour this year, try timing your arrival for about 11:24pm so you catch the last two songs & have time to savor a hearty microbrew.