The Huxtables have been around. As in, lots of local bands now DIY-ing it were still diapering it when these guys went from playing their first show 16 years ago—a McKinleyville house party—to dicing up local stages. Somehow, the dust has never managed to settle on the band’s frenetic rock that bounces with more pop than your last illegal fireworks display. And in all these years, the only thing missing in the career of a veteran band that needs no introduction is … a debut album. Say what? You read it correctly: Despite a parade of EPs and 2003’s Fire is Sabotage compilation, The Hux never managed to package one proper full-length CD. None, zilch, nada. Until now. “We’d always been a side project for the first 10 years of our existence, so we never had the drive to get into the studio to record a full-length until three years ago,” says founding bassist AJ Marquez, formerly of Slow Gherkin.
When the band started, with singer Colt Hangen and guitarist Matt Porter making up the other O.G. Hux that still remain, it was, Marquez explains, simply about “writing kick-ass songs and playing a few shows here and there.” Today, the core trio pumps up the volume with drummer Greg Braithwaite and guitarist Alan Trybom. With a name that Marquez says “conjures, for our demographic, a certain feeling of being at home on a Thursday night with your parents watching the Huxtables on TV,” the band is still plugging in decades after the plug was pulled on The Cosby Show. And they’ve finally taken that step most bands start with. Next Saturday’s CD-release show at Bocci’s Cellar, with the Velvet Teen and Gentlemen of Japan opening, is proof. We Have Heads, on Asian Man Records, may be the most long-awaited debut to hit local shelves. A lo-fi but high-energy melee of melodies, today the guitars are cleaner—with less crunch and more space within the songs—and the fresh release is a cherry-picking of old and new. The boys have grown up, and while some things have changed (they started out as teens practicing in Hangen’s parents’ garage, and today they practice in Hangen’s living room), the matured pipes still sing in harmony; more PBR than wine, the sound has aged just fine. So, with such a history, what’s something about The Huxtables people would be surprised to know? Marquez laughs, “That we actually have an album for you to take home this time.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26. Bocci’s Cellar, 140 Encinal St., Santa Cruz. $6. 427-1795.