The Reatards: Teenage Hate + Two early cassettes  


A full year and a half since Jay Reatard's death, it's still hard not wondering about the unrealized songs the man from Memphis still had up his sleeve. This reissue of the Reatards seminal 1998 debut, Teenage Hate, doesn't fill that void, but it offers an intriguing bit of musical archaeology. Unless you've been on the Reatard bus from the beginning, Teenage Hate has been scarce, and the two early tapes tacked on here, The Reatards and Fuck Elvis Here's the Reatards, were nonexistent. It all fits together in a high-energy endurance test of messy but glorious shotgun punk jitters. "I'm So Gone," "Memphis Blues" and a speedy cover of Fear's "I Love Living in the City" contain the seeds of the wild and emotionally damaged melodies that Jay mastered later in life. Here, original numbers and covers of the Beatles, Buddy Holly and Dead Boys are bound ribbons of distortion and awkward teenage energy. It's essential listening for fans, but it predates Jay's greatest messes by nearly a decade. (3 out of 5 stars)


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