Roll The Tanks - Goodnight Jimmy Lee [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Roll The Tanks

Goodnight Jimmy Lee [7-inch] (2011)

Sabot Productions

Sometimes tragedy brings about something. The tragic and untimely passing of eclectic punker Jay Reatard (born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.) brought grief and sadness to many, including Los Angeles garage-rock outfit Roll the Tanks.

The title track of the two-song seven-inch is a blistering 2:14 of punchy, yet driving rock anthem. I'm not an an expert on the legacy of Jay's music, or his specific affiliation with Roll the Tanks, but the track is unquestionably sincere, and exactly the type of upbeat melody that makes you smile about the good times you had with someone close who had passed, rather than mourning the actual loss.

The second cut,"Pistolero," is a bit more focused, melodic and structured; seamlessly transferring from an acoustic ballad to a vibrant chorus. If you're familiar with the band, it would be easy to describe the song as "experimental," as it strays from their basic rock standards.

The packaging for the seven-inch also deserves some serious recognition. Possibly setting a new standard in how to market physical media, the band opted for the "scratch and sniff" approach. Yes, like the stickers we all grew up with, the external sleeve for the record contains a large image of a birthday cake, which smells similar to cake when scratched and then sniffed. Oh nostalgia.

If you think this is just another band trying make a name riding the wings of death, think again. "Goodnight Jimmy Lee" was written and recorded the day of Jay's passing. The band's frontman Danny Carney mentioned in an interview with Rolling Stone: "We had it written and recorded before he had even reached the morgue, hopefully he would have appreciated that." I can't see why he wouldn't.