Tennessee's Jay Reatard (real name Jay Lindsey), who had played wild punk-rock
in the Lost Sounds later documented on
Blac Static (Fat Possum, 2011),
and had formed the angry vitriolic Reatards of Teenage Hate Plus (1998 - Goner, 2011)
when he was still a teenager,
debuted "solo" with the sparkling
Blood Visions (2006). Most of the songs are
extremely short, with
Greed Money Useless Children belonging to the
sarcastic side of things,
Puppet Man and I See You Standing There to the violent side,
and the "lengthy" My Shadow (three minutes),
and especially Nightmares to the emo/melodic side.
Some also toy with odd discordant constructions reminiscent of the new wave
of the 1970s (My Family,
Waiting For Something,
We Who Wait).
His art extends beyond the premises. He proves his
melodramatic skills in Oh It's Such A Shame, which shares little of
punk's fury and nihilism.
Reatard also released several catchy singles that were a lot more "pop" than
Hammer I Miss You (2006),
I Know A Place (2007),
Always Wanting More (2008),
Painted Shut (2008), a strange hybrid of
Rolling Stones-ian riffs and silly Brit-pop,
and See Saw (2008), that harks back to garage-rock of the 1960s.
The EP Night Of Broken Glass (2007) contained the evil and dissonant
Watch Me Fall (Matador, 2009) packs
12 songs in 32 minutes, which sounds like a lot but signals exactly the
opposite: the songs are getting longer. Reatard had definitely opted for
old-fashioned power-pop (It Ain't Gonna Save Me,
and old-fashioned bubblegum-pop (Can't Do It Anymore),
with occasional echoes of punk-rock
(Hang Them All)
and the new wave (Faking It).
From these premises Reatard secretes a new kind of power-ballad
(I'm Watching You) and original formats for his private confessions
(My Reality, There Is No Sun).
Jay Reatard died in january 2010.
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