The Cheeky Cheese


In addition to being a wildly prolific garage rocker, Billy Childish is a well-regarded painter and poet. He’s got an artsy side, in other words. But make no mistake, his “fine art” material has the same rough edges, grease stains and handmade feel as his music. This album, one of several collaborations with fellow poet and musical primitivist Sexton Ming, is a collection of seemingly tossed-off tracks that feature percussively strummed acoustic guitar, harmonium, and accordion, all backing Childish and Ming as they deliver half-sung, half-recited snatches of junkyard surrealism. You could compare this to Tom Waits, or to Jandek, or to Captain Beefheart’s “The Dust Blows Forward ‘n’ The Dust Blows Back,” or to improvised nursery rhymes one might make up to amuse an already half-asleep child. It’s worth a single listen, but is most notable as an example of Childish’s eclecticism.

Phil Freeman