Sometimes, America just fuckin’ rules. Where else could a sixteen-year-old kid, who hasn’t listened to much music, self-record himself in his bedroom and the result isn’t pathetic or kitchy, but one of the best things to ever come out of Memphis since the Oblivians? (It’s not just punk, or just garage, or just noise. It’s destruction. It’s desperation music. It’s ripping out fresh stitches. It’s dedicating forearms through speaker mesh. It’s bleeding from head wounds and broken disco balls. It’s whiskeying down sonic pills that keeps the boredom at bay.) Sixteen-year-old Jay beat on his guitar and thwacked plastic bucket drums. 600 pieces of this were originally pressed on vinyl. That was 1997. Jay Reatard then met Alicja Trout and they spawned a seemingly endless stream of many-headed bands, all of them excellent to great (like the Lost Sounds). Jay and Alicja part. End of story? Not quite. Enlightened incompetence is an art form often undervalued. The “it’s so simple, anyone can do it,” reasoning just doesn’t hold, because so few can pull it off. It takes a torn soul. It takes shit-tons of discipline to not “improve” on something so great to begin with, to not become more “professional” and fuck up the original spark. So here you have it. It’s another element of what makes America great, like the Bill of Rights and drive-thru liquor and gun stores, only digitized. Mark it, dude; the Reatards will be a band others will be compared to for quite awhile.