Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08
On this collection of singles released throughout the year 2008, Jay Reatard, front man of garage punkers The Reatards, mixes the sneering low-fi of the willfully ridiculous Reatards with fuzzed-out acoustic guitars, the occasional synthesizer, and a more upbeat songwriting style and structure.
Reatard snarls and bares his teeth through thirteen tracks that sound as though somebody finally got Johnny Rotten to cheer up. A good two decades or so of British and American rock and roll are represented here. All of your favorite classic pop punkers are represented here, with tracks like “See Saw” and “Always Wanting More” remind listeners of The Jam, while a strong Stiff Little Fingers/Husker Du feel pervades the entire album. The calmer songs show a strong basis in The Kinks and The Yardbirds.
But Jay Reatard has more to offer than a glimpse of nostalgia. There’s variety here, too-- The softer “No Time” is a sweetly sad acoustic ballad about unrequited love that manages to retain Reatard’s signature bristle, and the following song, “You Were Sleeping,” combines the stoned contemplation of Syd Barrett with Led Zeppelin’s more subtle folk songs.
Matador Singles ’08 shows a brand new side of Jay Reatard. By the time the vaguely psychedelic (and thoroughly creepy) “I’m Watching You” draws to a close, this normally brutal punk rocker reveals himself to be a versatile, intelligent, and (gulp) sensitive songwriter.
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