From the few published interviews with Teasers leader B.R. Wallers, we get the impression that he rather enjoys the astringent feelings the band generates in audiences and critics, and that he strives to create those uncomfortable moments when crowd dynamics teeter on the slippery brink between violence and dismissal. It's even safe to suggest that that's the Teasers' artistic goal, although they maintain almost an anti-art, we-have-no-idea-what-it's-about-or-what-it-means posture.
Wallers bases his confrontational, invective-spewing, bad-boy stage persona on the culture of racism, and his brand of punk surrealism is rooted in what he describes as country music's "skewed approach to the world." Lyrically, the offensive shock-and-awe Johnny Rotten-meets-Howard Stern venom of Brit skinhead punk prevails ("I like the swastika / I also like the Jew / I like the Negro / And the KKK too / The only type I do not like is you / When you are a junkie"). "Come Back Maggy," from the 1999 Fat Possum release Destroy All Human Life, finds the band pining for the return of the former prime minister and is seen as a slap at Tony Blair's Clintonian politics.
The band's latest album, which seems to be titled both Secret Weapon Revealed at Last and Full Moon Empty Sportsbag, defies not just easy but virtually any genre characterization -- but it can be said to combine experimental indie noise-rock with lo-fi bad-bar-band country. Somewhat like a Dalí painting, the mishmashed, ham-fisted musical and lyrical elements make for a unique if chaotic order, sometimes pleasing, almost always shocking.
While the Teasers have often been mentioned with the Butthole Surfers, there are no simple comparisons. But imagine Joy Division or Velvet Underground stumbling through a Tammy Wynette standard straight up -- while trying to cure a monumental hangover with a double spoonful of Mexican brown and a box of Coricidin.