Thurs Jan 8
The beauty in the Country Teasers' music seems to have sprung from the clutter in a dusky antique shop, with beats alternately like clacks from a rusty typewriter and claps of tin kitchenware--distorted, muffled, and swollen. Keyboards morph into B-movie laser battles, and primitive sound effects are created with birds and jugs as angular guitars jerk the melodies into the 21st century.
Their rootsy post-punk is as close to "country" as Camper Van Beethoven ever got, but more akin to the psychedelic sense of the word, with a wide musical landscape, and snotty narration flowering from seeds sown in the language of William Burroughs. Singer BR Wallers (also a member of Male Nurse), says his musical goals are more cerebral than spoiling genres. "I don't aim to do anything [specific]," he writes. "I sort of just spray as much as I can all around the bowl, in the hope that some of it is good enough to go in--I mean the bowl of the receptive human mind, the collective subconscious." The Teasers have released six albums since 1993, losing money for labels as varied as Crypt and Fat Possum. They're currently working with In the Red, which released their latest distorted masterpiece, Secret Weapon Revealed at Last, an album boasting song titles like "Young Mums Up for Sex" and "Man V Cock."
Wallers notes, "We are a classic example of a band who failed, again and again, for the record company that released it. And I should be grateful, and I'm not, I'm disappointed and still arrogant!" Nonetheless, he's sticking with the indies, adding, "There's plenty of good music being made without the major labels. They really should die, and the little labels really should prosper. But since the days of the Carter Family this fucking industry has been about the bigger dollar. Fucking cunts! They ruined it."
The Teasers spokesman says that he's very bitter about the way music "went all heavy and goth" in the late '90s, and that he wanted to expand into a sound like Radiohead and Godspeed You Black Emperor, but those bands beat him to it. "Extreme becoming standard also freaked me out," he says of the trends in skewing standard genres. "I think I got over it though; you can always fall back on the Monty Pythonian English character--you know, the easy surrealist--when you can't get anything extreme."