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The Dexateens: The Dexateens

The Dexateens: The Dexateens


By Justin Trevett Peters | Posted 2/18/2004

One of the more obnoxious things about the recent Southern rock revival is its somewhat soft-edged portrayal of Southern life--honeysuckle and blue skies and sweet Annette and so on; music in complete denial of the scary South about which authors such as William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor wrote. So if the Drive-By Truckers and Kings of Leon are the roll-'em easy good ol' boys, then the Dexateens are the gap-toothed, grudge-holding cousins from the wrong side of the tracks.

In their auspicious self-titled debut, the Dexateens harness their South with some furious three-guitar punk-edged interplay and deceptively simple lyrics that, although mixed low, are worth a listen. Opener "Cardboard Hearts" is a memorable ragged-harmony rocker, two-and-a-half minutes of skillet punk that wastes no time getting to its hooks. The tracks that follow are, for the most part, similarly raucous--especially "Strangle Hold" and the feedback-drenched "Bleeding Heart Disease."

The Dexateens unfortunately drags in the middle as the 'Teens reiterate their earlier sonic ideas or, worse, settle into tired, old country-funk grooves. Yet it's all made up for by the snarling rage of the explosive "Cherry." Screaming over maniac drums and distorted power chords, Elliot MacPherson sneers over old Pappy' s deathbed: "Old man, full of hate, full of lies/ I can't wait till all that shit inside you dies." It might not be "My mother is a fish," but it strikes the same dangerous and inarticulate nerve, and it rocks harder than Yoknapatawpha County ever did.

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