“Late again, Karl. Well, at least you showed up today. Did you take a wrong turn or something?”
I’ve been late with everything lately since I took a six day chunk out of my life to go visit my friend’s floor and drink the whole world in Vienna last week. This Jay Reatard review, for example, is a full week late. But then again, unlike the two-hour Medieval Dublin class I keep missing on Thursday mornings, I pretty much set my own deadlines here, so I’m going to let myself off with a warning.
There’s also the fact that I was standing beside someone who already reviewed the gig elsewhere. Briefly though, here’s what I thought.
It was great. If you’re a sneering hipster, incapable of motion during a punk gig, Jay Reatard will kick you in the face. If you decide to suck it up and stand front centre, singing along and getting into it as much as you can, Jay Reatard is going to respond to that. It’s punk music. It’s about an exchange of energy between the band and the crowd, and the accident of Jay Reatard P4K-approval doesn’t change that.
Jay doesn’t do banter. He shouts the names of songs while the noise of the previous song is still hanging around, and then he plays those songs with breakneck energy, with his new replacement Scandanavian backing band.
And Blood Visions is one of the best albums of the last decade. And the Singles are great, and his new album is pretty good too. Songs like Blood Visions, It’s So Easy, It Ain’t Gonna Save Me, My Shadow, See Saw, Trapped Here… they’re vitriolic, they’re fast, they’re catchy and they’re brilliant.
It’s straight up, three-piece, sped-up versions of great songs. There’s nothing more you could possibly ask for.