Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08
I figured I'd start out strong by throwing up a review my first day on the job. As you will probably pick up on pretty quickly, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for punk rock. Thus, I give you my my shining review of Jay Reatard's collection of singles for Matador records.
All the songs on this collection were released as 7" vinyl singles for Matador records throughout the year. For those who are lacking in decent independent music distributors in their area, those without record players, and those who don't have time to round up 7 random singles throughout the year, Jay has been kind enough to put them all in one easy CD or digital download.
Now, punk rock purists may give me a lot of guff for calling this a punk rock record, but it is one, deal with it. I generally have a hard time listening to much punk rock that was released beyond about 1981, but there have been a few. I prefer to steer clear of any type of revival band and generally favor creativity. Jay Reatard is both. Sure he subscribes to the punk ethos of anger, three chords, and short songs (the 13 track collection runs just shy of 35 minutes). He also, however, brings in some acoustic guitars and synthesizer...and acoustic guitars (a giant punk rock no no).
The collection starts out running with "See Saw," a rousing number that blast through the first verse with simply fun lyrics until you hit the chorus when the drums really blast out with floor times and Jay get's angry "There's really nothing to it and that is all I know!" he shouts. "Screaming Hand" keeps the pace of the album up; and just try not to smile when the pre-chorus comes in yelling "No! No! No! No! No!" The album trucks right on through until about the middle where Jay takes on Deerhunter's excellent "Flourescent Grey" (from their 2008 EP of the same name). The track takes a sound that is reminiscent of David Bowie era Iggy Pop. It's not a good sound for Jay. The album pummels through all the way to the hilariously beautiful finisher "I'm Watching You." This track brings the pace back down while Jay muses on about a lost love, and his feelings towards her now: "You see, to me, you never meant that much!" It assuredly is not a cohesive album as much as a collection of songs (that's what it is, makes sense) reminiscent of The Buzzcocks's "Singles Going Steady." It is, by far, my album of the week.