Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Reatards 'Teenage Hate & F*ck Elvis' DBL LP

Here we have the Reatards' first album reissued by Goner Records, thirteen years on from its original release. These 39 tracks chronicle how Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., a/k/a Jay Reatard, started his music career in his early teens. This expanded reissue contains Teenage Hate and Fuck Elvis Here's the Reatards in their entirety, the latter of which has Greg Cartwright (Oblivians, Reigning Sound, etc.) drumming in an early incarnation of the band. With original liner notes penned by Jay himself, photos, and four-track recordings taken from cassettes that now go on eBay for sums of money that would make Bill Gates wince, it's safe to say the gang down in Memphis have truly outdone themselves.

Jay Reatard released work with a warts-and-all attitude, unabashedly laying bare his processes and committing every idea he possibly could to record. Jay's work is so well documented that the tenacity in his songwriting can clearly be traced from final recordings released on Matador, back through Lost Sounds, Angry Angels, Final Solutions and pinpointed to the beginning, the Reatards' Teenage Hate. Hot off the blocks following the head-spinning opener "I'm So Gone" is "Stayce" (some may already be familiar with this track as it is featured on another Reatards album, Bedroom Disasters), and it is striking to hear how much Jay sounded like the Adverts, considering he didn't know about them until after recording Blood Visions almost a decade later. Sure, you can hear a love for the Oblivians and Wipers throughout, as this goes back to Jay not being shy about revealing his methods. Covers of Buddy Holly, the Beatles and Lil' Bunnies on this reissue go further to show what informed the Reatards' sound.

For the uninitiated, don't be surprised to hear even rougher, snottier recordings than Jay's still ballistic later work. Amphetamine-driven riffs pummel their way through the tracks apace with vocals that bite, snarl and grunt. Attention-flipping songs about being pissed off, bored and horny are composed with metronomic rhythms and crunchy forthright guitars delivered with a bad attitude that makes you want to go and knock stuff over for no reason -- just listen to "Out of My Head, Into My Bed" to see what I mean! The Reatards made music a more exciting place to lose your mind. These songs help paint a picture of how a kid who used to bang on empty paint buckets in his mum's house grew into a prolific artist. This reissue attests that although Jay is gone, he will never be forgotten.
(written for edited by Other Music)

Go show Goner some love!

Jay Reatard w/Greg Cartwright, rare unseen footage
This piece featured in the Other Music newsletter

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