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The Cheeky Cheese

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Album Review

The Cheeky Cheese is a collection of twisted nursery rhymes designed, one would assume, for only the strangest of children (like the grim Victorian urchins of Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies) or the most childlike of adults. Billy Childish may be best known for the garage rock he churned out with the Milkshakes and Thee Headcoats, but that's not what's going on here. No, there's no rock of any kind — garage or otherwise — on this recording, which consists of short pieces written with poet/musician Sexton Ming between 1977 and 1998 (the two collaborated on three previous releases in the 1980s). Instead of bass and drums, guitar (courtesy Ming) is joined by wind organ and glockenspiel (Childish). Both sing or speak the lyrics (or verses) and come across like a cross between Ian Dury and Tom Waits (divided in two and soused with gin), with the exception of "The Goldfish Murder," which is handled — quite nicely — by Thee Headcoatees' Kyra LaRubia. Unfortunately, the bulk of the material sounds more like notes or sketches than actual songs, and performances range from the casual to the downright irritating (the funny voice on "Buds and Shoots," for instance). The Cheeky Cheese is likely to flummox even the most dedicated of fans. ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy, Rovi

The Cheeky Cheese, Billy Childish & Sexton Ming
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