As a teen, Womack discovered the addictive thrall of rock & roll in the form of Kiss -- onstage he frequently pillories Doctor Love in an epic, spoken-word digression -- but he clearly soaked up the anthemic rapture, the huge guitar hooks and shout-it-out choruses of flash-pot rock, and he filters it all through twisted intelligence, distilling ironic-but-never-detached celebrations of the most messed-up of lives. Womack won't abandon his history, but he won't let it off the hook either. Because he doesn't gloss over who he is and where he comes from, his character sketches are always deeply, violently human. "I'm so glad that I don't have a gun," he hollers over one more mangled guitar crescendo. Be very glad. Songs, for Womack, are weapons enough.
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