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The Dexateens

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Album Review

Anyone who admits to knowing the Immortal Lee County Killers is either drunk or crazy. Tuscaloosa, AL, nutjobs the Dexateens not only thank Chet Weise in their liners, they sound happily inebriated and fever-pitch hyper on their self-titled first full-length for Estrus. As Weise's Killers do with blues, the Dexateens hot-wire musical norms in trashy fun fashion. Rock prefixes like stoner, garage, and even Southern (take a tipple of "Shelter" as a sample) are rakishly rewired; it's like waking up to find the kitchen sink spraying cold beer from its faucet. "Hard Lovin'" turns on a feverish guitar bend and a slurred Jagger impersonation; "Cherry" and "Cardboard Hearts" deploy the double-hammer muscle-car fuzz of Mudhoney or Fu Manchu. Tim Kerr — lovingly referred to here as "Chancellor" — has mixed The Dexateens to gritty, hedonistic perfection. The vocals of Elliot McPherson and John Smith always seem just off mic, as if they were too busy strutting their whining guitars toward one another or smashing cans of Goebel into their foreheads to actually sing. Meanwhile, "Still Gone" and "Strangle Hold" emulate the unique sound qualities of listening through thin apartment drywall to the band next door. The latter's raucous harmonies even distort at their peak. the Dexateens make shoutable, needle-burying bar band rock that never loses its ear for a hook or eye for a good stage pose. But, like the best of Estrus' ever-boisterous crop, they do it with subtly professional craft. The band takes a mid-album break from the screams and power riffs for "Air We Breathe," a skulking groove piece with nods to Brian Jonestown Massacre psychedelia. Proving the brains behind the brash, the track gets a reprise, and ends The Dexateens in a hail of slippery back-masked fizz. They're definitely drunk and crazy. But it's winking smarts that make the mayhem work so well.

Customer Reviews


This is such a killer album.


Formed: 1998 in Tuscaloosa, AL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Playing a gale-force fusion of punk and hard rock fueled by massive doses of guitar firepower, the Dexateens came together in Tuscaloosa, AL, in 1998. After the breakup of his band the Phoebes, guitarist Elliott McPherson met drummer Craig Pickering (aka Sweet Dog), who was also bandless after Verga called it quits. Looking to form a high-powered rock band, the two recruited bassist Matt Patton (ex-Model Citizen) and guitarist John Smith (formerly with American Cosmic), and the Dexateens were born....
Full Bio