Agony Shorthand

Friday, May 30, 2003
COUNTRY TEASERS: "SCIENCE HAT ARTISTIC CUBE MORAL NOSEBLEED EMPIRE"....Just got hipped to this great 2001 collection of 45s and odd tracks from Scotland's COUNTRY TEASERS, who've been poking around the edges of obscurity & political incorrectness for over 12 years now. I've always enjoyed their Edinburgh two-stepping garage-friendly punk rock take on early FALL, and the one time I saw them live around 1995 or so they weren't half bad either. Seems they made a bit of a push since then into what you kids are calling "hip hop" as well; but it's the sort of hip hop you make when you're very white, very Scottish, and can program a computer to pump the beats for you. The CD's got twenty tracks spanning 1991-1996; evidently the 2xLP's got forty (!). The track selection & programming is excellent; no sooner does the opening electronica beat-off "Compressor" quickly cut short than the siren-led MESS that they call "Getaway" begins -- a true bomb blast of a song, easily the best I've ever heard from these guys. No time for feminism for these gentlemen (re: "Some Hole"), no sir; let's just be generous and call them "lovers of women" (as we all are). There seems to be a general dissatisfaction with their station in life, with an equivalent inability to express it, save for super-raw meandering around the edges of American roots and distorted UK punk, a la the aforementioned Fall circa "Fiery Jack" and "Psychic Dancehall". They'll just keep pressing on, and one of these days they'll meet some girls, I'm sure. Until then, this is an excellent place to start if you're ready to build a Country Teasers wing in your collection.