The Government ‘From Off The Streets Of Madrid Comes The Government’ (FOLC Records)
Hailing from the Spanish capital, The Government are a trio who deal in straight-out garage soul, packed tight with mind-shaking grooves. This, their debut album, kicks off right out of the gate with the aptly titled Footstomper. It’s punching rhythm and soul-cracked gravel voice sets the scene for what follows as the band rollick through half an hour of passionate homage to the classics.
Drawing from the same pool as the likes of The Bellrays, The Dirtbombs, and before them, MC5, this is a group who are not afraid to wear their influences proudly. As William Holden’s Tamla style rolling bass line is taken straight from the dance floor of Twisted Wheel and they even drop in a straight out magpie pilfered nod to The Temptations on the cracking Friedmanized. When they stray from the straight R&B groove, like on the seemingly untamable God’s Right Side, they can fly off with such a precision jitter that it grabs you by the spine and shakes you right down to your feet. The voice and guitar are often the forefront focus, but when the stabbing rhythms take a break, the songs showcase a tight spiting rolling rhythm section wielding the songs along, no more so on what probably should’ve been album closer, Preacherman.
While there are one or two moments that might have benefited from the vocals being slightly lower in the mix, overall the production is pretty much spot on, and when it hits the nail right it hammers that classic soul sound. The Government are a great addition to FOLC Records’ growing base of the finest crop of Spain’s current garage sounds and, if this debut’s anything to go by, we should expect something really special soon from this three-piece.
Finally, from a country drowning in corruption and scandal, it seems as though there’s now a government we can trust.