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Re-up. It’s still an indispensible classic to me, your hipper kids looked for a backlash that never came. This set the land speed record for pop hooks! -Ian!

Memphis-based punk rock juggernaut Jay Reatard has adopted a fistful of musical approaches since he first began recording in his bedroom, writing and recording frantic punk, synth punk, power pop and straightforward rock & roll tunes at a frantic pace since releasing his debut EP in 1998. Reatard was born Jay Lindsey and dropped out of school when he was 15, owing to boredom with conventional education and a problematic home life. Lindsey became interested in rock & roll when he heard Nirvana via MTV, and in his mid-teens he began writing songs.

On his first solo album, Jay Reatard…well, judging by the album cover, “grows up” clearly isn’t right. Nor is “makes a more mature musical statement” quite on the nose. How about “sucks less”? The Reatards were always a good idea improperly executed: their lo-fi take on the goofball teenage humor of the Queers or the Mr. T Experience had its moments, but they were often in need of an editor and some slightly better-quality recording equipment. Blood Visions is considerably more listenable in terms of fidelity: R. Stevie Moore’s ’70s and ’80s albums would be a reasonable home-recording touchstone. Musically, it’s also a big step up, as well as a step into the past. Blood Visions has the antic, jumpy quality of many now-obscure new wave records of the early ’80s, from the era when artists like Wazmo Nariz and Skafish thought a funny name and a yelpy, David Byrne-derived singing voice, along with a cheap synth and some narrow sunglasses, were the path to success. By keeping the oddball affectations down to a minimum while keeping up the neurotic post-punk momentum, Reatard burns through 15 aggressively quirky but mostly entertaining songs in just under half an hour. More energy, better sounding, tighter focus, better songs…maybe this IS a more mature musical statement!


Jay Reatard-BLOOD VISIONS (2006)


One Comment

  1. thanks! I heard a few of his songs and enjoyed them more than I thought I would, so I’ll give this a try.

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