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Jay Reatard

Singles 06-07

Jay Reatard

8 / 10 Kept on a leash and forced to wear protective headgear as a child – presumably for the safety of other kids – it’s no bombshell to discover that, as a youngster, Jay Lindsey was more than just ‘lively’. This, after all, is the Rottweiler whose enthusiasm has led him to write “over 900 songs” (one a day, apparently), who once delivered a stagediver in Canada back into the crowd with a re-styled nose and, at London’s Stag And Dagger festival earlier this year, hurtled through 10 songs in 600 seconds. Reatard is ADD in action – desperate to fight, spite and write as quick as possible.

‘Singles 06-07’, 17 snivelling cuts from that period (four from debut ‘Blood Visions’), is a collection which begins with the sound of someone falling through a conservatory roof (‘Night Of Broken Glass’). It’s an introduction to the splattering scene and to the sound of Jay rifling his Flying V through the gullet of the Buzzcocks, The Hives and White Denim at a US psychobilly prom.

This is bloody stuff – murder and, erm, arse-rape are dealt with – with the sleigh bells’n’ sodomy of ‘Hammer I Miss You’ (“And the boys in the alleyway are bending at the knees/Trying to find a lonely thing/Trying to find something to please”) a backward highlight. Yes, it’s dirty work (see the lo-fi DVD included) but under the shards and stains there is melody in every track. Reatard’s motto is fulfilled: no quality control, just quality. A leash, Mr and Mrs Reatard? Darn, a claw-hammer couldn’t pin Jay down.

Greg Cochrane

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