Jay Reatard – “See/Saw” 7”
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2008
“See/Saw” was my introduction to the late Jay Reatard and his immediately satisfying ramshackle garage-rock. Actually, that’s not true. I heard “Always Wanting More” first on a Matador compilation highlighting all the cool shit they were releasing in 2008. “See/Saw” was the first of six seven-inches released in 2008 (“Always Wanting More” was third) and, despite not really buying seven-inches at the time, I was buying scads of records and liked “Always Wanting More” enough to take a flyer on Memphis’s latest musical genius. “See/Saw” is fantastic, and so is the B-side “Screaming Hand,” and really, so are most of the tracks from his 2008 seven-inch series (I have changed my tune since I wrote up the compilation collecting all of the seven-inch songs five years ago, and of course I don’t have it anymore, drag). I don’t know if Reatard heralded the grungy garage rock revival that exploded in the late 00s and still haunts us today, but he was one of its brightest stars and the only one I could listen to without having my eyes glass over. The hooks are just phenomenal, and somehow the production sounds professional and gritty at the same time. It’s a ridiculous shame that Matador released fewer and fewer copies of each successive seven-inch because I bought the first four and it was absolutely impossible to get my hands on the other two without having to do commit some sort of debauchery, which I’d do for GBV or the Hold Steady but not for Jay Reatard. Still, these two tracks are absolute killers.