If your '80s experience with Southern-fried, scorching roots rock was limited to, say, the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," then this raucous, riff-happy nugget will fill you with delight and a sense of musical renewal. Kentucky-based post-punk outfit Government Cheese hailed from Bowling Green and generated fireworks as a regional act during the latter half of the decade. Led by singer-songwriter Tommy Womack, who has since gone on to release some fine Americana music in recent years, the group recalls kindred, underappreciated contemporaries Jason & the Scorchers, right down to Womack's spirited, yelping vocal delivery. But this is no mere carbon copy of that band or any other of the sundry roots rock pioneers of the '80s. Government Cheese may never have become household names, but the band sure as hell is legendary.
"Face to Face" features an infectiously stomping rhythm and also one of the era's most memorable nimble-fingered guitar riffs. Obviously drawing from the rollicking energy of punk rock and the group members' unique Southern roots, deserves to be heard and celebrated with an accompaniment of quickly consumed brown liquors. If you're as old as I am (or feel as old as I often feel), maybe you'll keep the liquids clear and relatively spirits-free on a weeknight. But Womack & Co. brew up some powerful stuff here that ought to get you up and moving in spite of time's encroachment.
- Sample or download "Face to Face" here.
- Watch the performance music video for "Face to Face" here.
- Compare prices on Government Cheese CDs here.
- Roots Rock Genre Profile
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Cedar Creek Music