Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Jesus And Mary Chain "Psychocandy"

Artist: The Jesus And Mary Chain
Album: Psychocandy
Label: Blanco Y Negro
Release date: February 1985
Genre: Rock
Style: Shoegazing, Indie Rock
RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, Ride

01. Just Like Honey
02. The Living End
03. Taste The Floor
04. The Hardest Walk
05. Cut Dead
06. In A Hole
07. Taste Of Cindy
08. Some Candy Talking
09. Never Understand
10. Inside Me
11. Sowing Seeds
12. My Little Underground
13. You Trip Me Up
14. Something's Wrong
15. It's So Hard
Total running time: 42' 41"

[The Jesus And Mary Chain - Open MySpace Standalone Music Player]

[The Jesus And Mary Chain - Never Understand - Video Clip]

[The Jesus And Mary Chain - Interview (1986) - French subtitles]

"The Jesus and Mary Chain is a riddle, a conundrum, a source of confusion and anxiety, a love-'em-or-hate-'em proposition. Obviously schooled in the aesthetics of noise and punk and simpleminded pop, the Jesus and Mary Chain is a perfect recombinant of every Edge City outlaw ethic ever espoused in rock.

With the willful and deliberate abandon of postpunk ghouls, they rape and pillage everything you've ever loved: the Phil Spector "Be My Baby" drum tat-too, the sweet abrasion of the Velvet Underground, the velocity and mangled pop of the Ramones, the black-leather sloganeering of Suicide, the lovable incompetence of Sixties garage bands, the shrill, screaming, grinding industrial pandemonium of SPK and Throbbing Gristle. The big question arises: Is the Jesus and Mary Chain the real thing, or is it a shrewd package job for critics and would-be iconoclasts?

The album title Psychocandy sums it up with alarming accuracy. This is the opposite of sugarcoating the pill; it's like wrapping sandpaper around a Tootsie Pop. The veneer is gritty and inedible, the next layer is hard and crunchy, the core is soft and chewy. These are kids after all, which just might be their saving grace. If indeed they are a superficial and diluted version of the most hard-core and dangerous elements in the rock lexicon, maybe they are too young to care.

For all its chain-saw screech and übermetallic badness, the Jesus and Mary Chain is a pop band with doo-doo-doos and la-la-las, simple melodies and full echoing production around Jim Reid's laconic Lou Reed-like monotone. William Reid's guitar parts blast shards of maniacal feedback across the underpinnings of Douglas Hart's bass lines. And in true Mo Tucker stand-up fashion, Bobby Gillespie keeps the beat uncomplicated and direct.

It's obvious to the point of inanity that the Velvet Underground is the pure and adult model for the self-consciously evil xerography of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Perhaps these are the days of whining neuroses and the function of the Jesus and Mary Chain is to make ruthless, gut-bending noise safe for the airwaves. But, then again, if they can actually get their holocaustic guitar squall on the radio, maybe they're doing us all some kind of public service." [source]


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