OK, maybe you can’t go home again. So what? You can still grab your guitar, head down to the bar and play one more awesome show with your old bandmates. And hopefully, somebody will record that sucker and release it as a live album so everybody who owns and cherishes all your criminally underappreciated southern indie-rock band’s albums can savour one more blast from the past — and cross their fingers that maybe you and the rest of the crew will make one more studio album before you drift apart again. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this fan-fucking-tastic live recording from Alabama’s Dexateens, who welcomed former lead guitarist John Smith back into the fold for a one-off reunion gig at Patterson Hood and Drive-By Truckers’ yearly Heathen Homecoming bash in Athens, Ga., back in the good old concert-going days of February. And what if I am? It doesn’t make this set of bare-knuckle, raw-boned roots-punk any less monumental or essential. So shut up.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, The Dexateens have built an institution from their fiery brand of punk and roll. Since 1998, as one line-up or another, they’ve left jaws agape and arms akimbo as if some kind of inadvertent hypnotism has occurred. The band has amassed an impressive discography penned largely by bandleader Elliott McPherson. 2009’s Singlewide marks the last time songwriter and original lead guitarist John Smith worked with the band in studio. This past Feb. 13, the band kicked off the Drive-By Truckers’ annual Heathens Homecoming at the legendary 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. The line-up was almost back to basics with founding songwriters Smith and McPherson on guitars and vocals, original bassist Matt Patton (also with DBT) and the great Brian Gosdin (2007-present) on the trap kit. This is one of the few times McPherson and Smith have played together in the past 10 years. The results are impeccable and it waves the spear for how deep the roots of “bandhood” can be — an unrehearsed recall of Smith-era highlights and less-expected audibles.”