After a half-decade hiatus, cult-favorite Alabama rock & roll collective The Dexateens are back in action, on the road again, and finally set to release their classic lineup’s long-shelved swan song Teenage Hallelujah (out Oct. 7 from Cornelius Chapel Records). The decidedly blue-collar Dexateens are proudly comprised of a cabinet maker, a carpenter, multiple restaurant and bar employees, and one full-time member of Drive-By Truckers. They are validated working-class renaissance men, well-versed in culture, art, music and life, and they deliver their anthemic rock & roll with an insatiable appetite for fuzzed-out, high-decibel crunch and sweaty soul, all anchored in a constant dialogue with the Southern Culture that spawned them, in all its flawed glory.
Ae recently reunited Dexateens—with the exception of former guitarist Lee Bains, whose spot has been filled by Taylor Hollingsworth (Dead Fingers, Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band)—are playing shows once again, and have also been working on a new record with Mark Nevers of Lambchop. But in honor of the brilliance that was, Teenage Hallelujah is finally being released Oct. 7 on Cornelius Chapel Records. The Dexateens’ signature triple-guitar attack is on full display here/ Recorded mostly in singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Elliott McPherson’s barn with producer/engineer Bronson Tew (Seratones, Jimbo Mathus, Water Liars), Teenage Hallelujah finds the Tuscaloosa quintet proudly—often simultaneously—flying the flags of its deepest influences: classic country, Southern rock and blistering garage punk.
Glide Magazine is premiering the driving “Down in the Valley” (below) a rock 101 lesson in how three guitars can weave skillfully, reawakening the full rock band sound at its most ragged and pure.
“Down in the Valley” is a takeoff on the hymn “There Will Be Peace in the Valley.” When I was a kid, I wasn’t really allowed to listen to music that was on the radio, but I was allowed to listen to my Dad’s records. He had a an Elvis gospel record, and that’s where I remember hearing this song for the first time,” says McPherson.
“The idea behind both songs is the same—that on the other side, there is a new beginning where things aren’t dark and destructive. Where things exist in the form they were originally created. It’s a pretty old and antiquated way of seeing life, but that’s what’s behind the song, and that’s where I put my hope.”