Country Teasers | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Country Teasers 

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COUNTRY TEASERS

This Scottish quartet has never topped its mesmerizing 1994 debut, Country Teasers, on Crypt--but who gives a damn, when so many other bands have passed whole careers without making anything as good? A bio that's traveled with the Country Teasers from Fat Possum to their new label, In the Red, claims they set out intending to play country music, honest to god--but wound up with a mean, oily, shambling, crackling garage growl capped by dazzling misogyny. ("Tired of bitches bitchin', I'm tired of sluts sluttin'," snarls front man B.R. Wallers on "Bitches' Fuck-off.") The resulting collision of Boggs, Troggs, and Frogs was engrossing from start to finish, and even produced one joyously nasty shoulda-been hit: "Anytime, Cowboy" was so good they put it on there twice. They've milked the formula through two more albums since--one more for Crypt and one for Fat Possum--and seem to be drifting closer to something recognizable as country. Their misanthropic streak has also grown wider: on "Women & Children First," from the third LP, Destroy All Human Life, Wallers demands, "Women and children first...then the Jews and the niggers and the faggots / I went to Istanbul / And came back with this T-shirt," and sounds at least as earnest as Eminem. The Teasers aren't promoting anything in particular with this tour, but this fall they'll release a double CD of rarities, outtakes, and other effluvia--including live drunkitude worthy of Mark E. Smith, a version of "Tainted Love" that makes Soft Cell's sound wholesome, and a grottily recorded version of "Prettiest Slave on the Barge," which is just as repellent as you'd think it is--though not much more so than "Brown Sugar," really. Wesley Willis headlines. Friday, March 9, 7 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700.

MONICA KENDRICK

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