Remember the first time you heard the Pixies' classic "Where Is My Mind?" It condensed the euphoria of cutting anchor and sailing into the abyss into a four-minute pop song. Now Jay Reatard (that Memphis garage punker from the Lost Sounds, the Retards, Angry Angles and probably a dozen other bands that played every 20-watt-bulb-and-a-couple-power-strips basement party on the circuit) has set out on a solo excursion to compact that asylum jubilance even further. On Blood Visions, Reatard leaves plenty of carnage in his wake—lyrics about dead pals, faces turning blue, inner voices with killer instincts, buried romance—yet he's so flip and quick with the riffs that you can't help but chant along with a Cheshire grin. Blood Visions has all the social conscience of a giggling psychopath, and that irreverent manner sharpens the hooks in every track (including a cover of the Adverts' "We Who Wait"). This record is easily one of my picks for garage punk sprint of the year; Reatard is brief, brash and anything but boring as he flirts with pop, British accents and a bit of post-punk abrasion. Murder can be fun, indeed.
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