Jay Reatard was born just a few years too late. A publicly obnoxious blowhard with shoulders chipped like Pringles, his music has the welcoming melodies of late ’90s PG-13 power-pop — a walking contradiction that might make him the missing link between Fred Durst, Andrew WK and, like, Letters To Cleo. Watch Me Fall is little more jittery and a lot more lo-fi than Jay’s genre predecessors, but even as he pillages the Ramones’ three-chord aggression, he can’t help dressing up the songs in melody. Tracks such as “Man of Steel” reach back even earlier (to Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World,” for one) and as the new lo-fi/garage trend begins to retreat before the incoming chill-wave/glo-fi/gorillavsbearcore pop culture explosion (which is uniformly awesome, by the way), Reatard may be a man out of time — but he’s one to watch.
Jay Reatard – “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me”: mp3
(Watch Me Fall is out Aug. 18 on Matador)
More: New Music