Country Teasers

Secret Weapon Revealed at Last

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The majority of four-track recordings are merely chronicles of personal achievement filled with unfinished ideas, inside jokes, and masturbatory instrumentals intended for late-night listening with drunken friends. At some bleary point in the evening, the conversation inevitably turns to world domination through the eventual release of the material on a major label, resulting in a morning of humiliation and regret at the thought of having exposed your coveted audio diary to a room full of strangers. The Country Teasers don't care either way. Their trashy middle finger of a record, Secret Weapon Revealed at Last is, depending on your mood, funny, satirical, and offensive in a King Missile kind of way, or foul, irritating, and sh*tty like a mid-summer bronchial infection. Like fellow Brit Mark E. Smith, frontman B.R. Wallers slurs and kind of sings on coyly titled songs such as "Young Mums Up for Sex" and "Man V Cock" like a man being solicited during a smoke break. This disaffected air works on lines like "I just wanna set the world on fire/I don't wanna start a flame in your heart" from the dirge-like "Sandy," but trembles beneath the misguided artifice of its half-assed production. He may be a gifted wordsmith, but you'd never know it because you can barely hear him. Whether intentional or not, the band displays no ability to play or tune their instruments, leaving it up to the listener to decide whether or not they're supposed to be in on the joke or the butt of it. While unfair to the Country Teasers, this snotty, lo-fi misuse of irony worked for bands like the Fall because they did it first. In this extraordinary age where anyone can make a record, the bar has been raised higher than the pint can reach, leaving the floor littered with close calls and nice tries; but to call Secret Weapon Revealed at Last derivative is too kind.

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