The first time I heard Jay Reatard's "Blood Visions" (the title track off his 2006 release), I would have sworn that he'd been around for decades, but he's really only been on the scene for about one.
Blood Visions is one release in a series from this prolific musician (born Jay Lindsey) with the self-afflicted unfortunate and offensive moniker whose group and solo work straddles the barbed-wire fence that runs the line of punk and rock sub-genres. And while he has newer releases, Blood Visions is a standout.
The album contains 15 tracks (all written and performed by Lindsey), each one is short, but fierce and full of more hooks and heart than many recent pop albums put together. Like many a punk album before it, the bloody cover may be enough to turn away all but those with the strongest of stomachs. But album covers, unlike we've learned about book covers, often allow soon-to-be listeners the opportunity to judge what might be inside. The image on front is, at best, difficult to look at, but punk music—Lindsey's music included—really shouldn't be easy to digest. It should punch you in the stomach. It should make your head hurt. It should make you want to jump up on a table in a crowded restaurant and dance like your life depended on it.
Though Blood Visions stands strong, the handful of singles and EPs he's put out since show that, like any musician worth his salt, his music is changing, growing. But just because it's a bit more polished, doesn't mean Lindsey isn't still tearing it up ... it's all I can do not to jump on my desk right now.
Nov. 7, with The Universal, 9 p.m., $3. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886.