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Government Cheese Live! .
Three Chords, No Waiting
(Formats: LP, Cassettes)
By Eric Metcalfe
To be quite honest, I had never heard of Government Cheese until my editor handed me the album and said, "It's a punk rock group. Will you review it?" I took a look at the title, Three Chords, No Waiting, and accepted the assignment.
The liner notes describe the band as "your basic four-piece" from Bowling Green, Ky. The music, though not quite "punk," is definitely "alternative rock."
Side one starts off with an interestingly titled instrumental, "Bathtub, He Asked," with an uninteresting sound. A similar drumbeat carries over to "Mammaw Drives the Bus." I kept waiting for this song to break out of the chorus and into some verses, but it never did.
"I Can't Make You Love Me" is reminiscent Of Paul Kelly and the Messengers' "Dumb Things." Unfortunately for the Cheese, the latter song is much better. The album finally reaches 33 rpm with the Dead Milkmen- sounding "Yellow Cling Peaches." The entire band springs to life on this song in such a way that it's hard to believe the same guys recorded the three previous songs.
"Stay With Me," the only song not written by the group, gives side one a strong finish.
Side two picks up where side one left off with the fast-paced, rockin' "Camping On Acid." The liner notes state that the song is not intended to promote taking acid or camping. If some of the vocals were remixed so they were more understandable, "Camping On Acid" would be an excellent alternative rock single.
"The Shrubbery's Dead (Where Danny Used to Fall)" is album filler. Though I'm not a connoisseur of alternative music, "Fish-Stick Day" is better than most of the stuff that I'm told is "good" alternative rock; this song (my personal favorite) would also make an excellent single. Billy Mack Hill's bass and Skot Willis' lead vocals on "Face to Face" give the album a solid finish.
Tommy Womack is the vocal leader of the band; he does the vocals on the album's three best songs: "Yellow Cling Peaches," "Camping On Acid" and "Fish-Stick Day Joe Elvis King's drums are consistently good throughout and Willis and Womack sprinkle the album with terrific lead guitar work.
Even though Three Chords, No Waiting gets off to a slow start, I strongly recommend this album. Honestly, when was the last time you heard good altern ative rock that was bred in Kentucky?