As the title may suggest, this compilation covers a very short space of time for this energetic songwriter, but one listen and you'll see that Jay Reatard has produced more quality material in one year than many bands get to in a life time. Jay Lindsey has been around for a while fronting various bands, but most notably The Reatards, which was actually just him alternating between vocals, guitars and a beat played out on an up-turned bucket. His recent solo work consists of one album, 2006's Blood Visions and a whole host of singles and EP's that are now out of print. So In The Red Records offer us this 17 song run through that collects together all these rare loose ends and the result is a startlingly consistent sonic clenched fist that repeatedly pounds your face for 38 minutes.
Opening track Night Of Broken Glass will let you know exactly what to expect from this collection as it launches in to screams and machine gun punk rock like a slightly polished Beastie Boys a la Heart Attack Man. Another Person is slightly more melodic, incorporating swirling synthesizers around the rapid drums and Reatard's voice that assumes an almost 80's New Wave monotone. The refreshing thing about Jay Reatard is that he never tries to do anything else but punk rock, but that's not to say that this collection lacks variety. Every song sounds like Jay Reatard but to write this off as a punch-in-the-face punk hammering would be wrong. Songs like I Know A Place and Hammer I Miss You keep a healthy pace but allow more percussion and melodic vocals with the latter evolving into a blanket tone of rising group vocals that seem remarkably majestic. Don't Let Him Come Back rides on a Monkey's-like rhythm section and is quite pedestrian by Reatard's standards.
But then, by contrast, you get the twin assault running down the middle of the record beginning with It's So Useless. Sounding like a possessed Marc Bolan, Reatard creates a near perfect punk song with the chorus being shrieked in time to crashing cymbals gladly recalling my Sham 69 days. All Wasted is slightly less abrasive but manages to merge the New Wave monotone with So Useless' catchy chorus, this time ending with the repeated chant of "All zombies are wasted, all zombies are useless to me."
For all its might and pace this is well crafted and slightly over polished punk rock. I may have described it as a clenched fist but I wouldn't be surprised if the fist had well manicured nails, maybe with glam-polish and relatively soft skin. Reatard's voice is very melodic no matter how much he tries to hide it. You do start to cry out for more short, sharp bursts like It's So Easy or Blood Visions with their classic punk urgency and pogo capabilities. This collection is less Black Flag and more Pop Levi, but at the same time he gives you enough indication that if it came to it he'd kick Levi's ass in a punch up. But if this doesn't satisfy your Reatard cravings then look no further. Having recently found his home at Matador, we lucky people get another round up of Reatard with the imaginatively titled "Matador Singles '08" compilation hitting stores on October 6th. The two compilations should undoubtedly show this guy as an artist of unrivaled energy and enthusiasm who seems physically unable to stop spewing out quality rock at an alarming rate.
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Matador Singles '08
Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.
31st Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Yet another biggest-battle-yet, with more than a passing nod to BTTF2.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Rise of Skywalker
Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.
22nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.
15th Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.
2nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.
28th Nov 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.
24th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.
16th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.
3rd Nov 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.
13th Oct 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.
5th Oct 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.
5th Oct 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Into the Spider-Verse
Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.
21st Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.
22nd Aug 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.
14th Aug 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.
13th Jul 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before
13th Jul 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.
30th Jun 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.
16th Jun 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.
31st May 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.
7th May 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.
28th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.
27th Apr 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.
12th Apr 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.
6th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.
1st Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.
28th Mar 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Fun biopic that runs out of steam about when the band did.
25th Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
A diminished remake of Deadpool 1. Occasional LOLs.
25th Mar 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
High concept sci-fi that stretches its concept a little thin.
19th Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Unremarkable, cliche-ridden actioner. Utterly lacking in suspense.
17th Mar 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
A disjointed patchwork of homages, nods and rip offs from dozens of other movies, with little to offer of its own.
11th Mar 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Laborious, high-concept alien horror. While the concept is good, the beats are all well telegraphed.
2nd Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Witty, if a little obvious, post-meta rom-com.
1st Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Second Part
It’s literally a re-hash of all the themes of the first one with a few less jokes.
23rd Feb 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Slight, but sometime engaging iPhone feature.
26th Jan 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Decent modern spin on Mary Poppins. Bit uneven, but a nice soundtrack helps things along.
20th Jan 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Bog standard entry into The-Rock-action-movie genre. As much personality as a computer game.
3rd Jan 2019Read more 3 star reviews
This time it’s really, really serious. Seriously.
27th Dec 2018Read more 3 star reviews
It’s a musical ...but slick direction makes it just about bearable.
24th Dec 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Pop-culture bouillabaisse, hampered by numerous terrible accents.
24th Dec 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.
15th Dec 2018Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.
24th Nov 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.
21st Nov 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews