“What we know so far: Tennessee’s Jay Reatard has released more records than you’ve taken tinkles, his choice of weapon is the flaming Flying-V, if you accidentally crowd surf onto him at a gig while he’s trying to shred he’ll smash your face in Tyson-style and sometimes he plays 10 minute gigs. Whereas albums like 2006’s ‘Blood Visions’ and a million lost 7” were typified by the main man’s distorted yowl, this time out he’s cleaned up, refrained from recording his vocals through Grandma’s VCR and, in his own words, focussed on ‘melody’. All of which should see the self-deprecating ‘Watch Me Fall’ (sample lyric: “all is lost/there is no hope/all is lost/there is no hope for me””) become a much more engaging listen – not quite though.

‘It Ain’t Gonna Save Me’ – the video of which features Reatard hilariously being attacked by a party of savage eight year olds – blows open the doors in rickety fashion. Somewhat reassuringly/disappointingly, Reatard still sounds like Jack White hanging out of a car window but more polished. Following on, ‘Before I Was Caught’, ‘Man Of Steel’ and ‘Can’t Do It Anymore’ could really be from any Reatard associated project. Creeping closer ‘A Whisper (There Is No Sun)’, debuting a string section, is the only real departure from his basement garage rollocking. It’s no dud then, but neither is it the fractured homework of a supposed madman that we’d expected. Not a fall as such, just a minor trip.

6/10