Playing no-frills, lo-fi rock & roll that was raw, wild, and unapologetically manic, the Reatards were the first project of note from Jay Reatard, who would go on to become one of the most celebrated figures on the garage punk scene before his unexpected death in early 2010. The Reatards literally began as a bedroom project, with 15-year-old Reatard making primitive four-track cassette recordings at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, on which he played guitar, sang, and provided percussion in the form of "bangin' on a bucket." These early recordings were crude but showed genuine promise, and in 1997, Memphis' Goner Records (run by Eric Friedl, whose group the Oblivians were a major influence on Jay) released the first Reatards record, a 7" EP drawn from Reatard's bedroom sessions called Get Real Stupid. Another former Oblivian and Memphis tastemaker, Greg Cartwright, liked Reatard's early material enough to play drums with him, and appeared on a cassette-only release called Fuck Elvis, Here's the Reatards. By the time the Reatards cut their first full-length album for Goner, 1998's Teenage Hate, they had evolved into a proper band, with Reatard joined by second guitarist Steve Albundy Reatard and drummer Ryan Elvis Wong Reatard. After the Reatards recorded a handful of 7"s , Empty Records issued the group's second LP in 1999, Grown Up Fucked Up, but by this time, the Reatards were competing for Jay's attention with a number of other projects, most notably his synth-punk band the Lost Sounds, as well as the Bad Times (a collaboration with Eric Friedl), the Final Solutions (featuring Reatard and members of the Jackmonkeys), and Angry Angels. In 2004, Empty Records issued Bedroom Disasters, a collection of unreleased Reatards recordings and non-LP singles, while Goner issued a live Reatards LP the same year. Around the same time, the Lost Sounds split, and Jay re-formed the Reatards, playing live shows and releasing a new album, Not Fucked Enough, on Empty in 2005. It proved to be the Reatards' last hurrah; in 2006, Jay Reatard stepped out as a solo artist, and nearly all his subsequent recordings would be issued under his own name. ~ Mark DemingPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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