Indie rockers Cheekface have a loyal fanbase and deliver sardonic wit with their music. They bring the full package of their own label, social media savvy, and art house styling to their work as “America’s Local Band.” Their newest release is a cover of “(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.”
Cover Me posits that Elvis Costello and the Attractions made the definitive version of the song, although others have made artistic contributions to its legacy. Others have considerable financial contributions to writer Nick Lowe’s bank balance. Appearing (initially on the US release only) on Costello’s magnificent, angry Armed Forces, the song was a perfect fit to the tone of that record. Nick Lowe himself produced. Costello is clearly personally confronting who is mocking him for his hippie views. It is the passion and commitment of the delivery, as well as the juxtaposition of the peaceful message delivered in an impassioned way, that makes this version a classic. It is a part of Lowe and Costello’s touring set to this day, although the anger has dissipated over the years.
Anger is not part of the Cheekface persona, but the song is a great fit for their positive message. Their rhetorical tone is that of the late-night bar discussion after an altercation. They can’t understand why cynicism is regarded as the “grown-up” view when there is enough love to make the world a better place, despite the skeptics. Singer Greg Katz does not apply his “talk-sing” style here, and is much more conventional in his delivery. Providing “sweet” harmonies, and moral support for the cause, is Mandy Tannen. Katz’s guitar sound, Tannen’s bass and Mark Edwards’ drums give a classic indie feel to the delivery.