In this era of anthemic festival Coldplay albums, U2s stadium rock albums and singer/songwriters dominating the radio waves, how wonderfully refreshing to listen to some good old fashioned guitars (and high production values on Tidal Masters). And it is throwback to the late 80s when I certainly wore black and Darklands was a revelation. Then THE Jesus and Mary Chain ended up on the cover of Smash Hits and it was all over (as I recall), especially after Automatic, Honey’s Dead, Stoned & Dethroned, I rest my case (Barbed Wire Kisses didn’t count).
My review system dictates that I rate each track individually on a first listen whilst developing a theme, however, I have been listening to ‘Amputation’ and ‘Always Sad’ for a good few months now on Tidal and of course 6 Music and since the album came out last Friday I’m very into it so the ratings are going to be a bit skewed.
Although the album features several reworked tracks from previous incarnations of their songs with previous bands, it does come across as a consistent body of work, like an actual album in fact, a rare thing these days. Noticeably, there are several vocal collaborations with female artists, my favourite of which is ‘Always Sad’ recorded by William Reid’s hitherto unknown girlfriend, Bernadette Denning. ‘The Two of Us’ also has a really great female vocal. Many of the tracks have a dense element to them but the tracks are consistently uptempo through out the album, with an edge you might hope for from the Mary Chain with lyrical digs at modern America. The acoustic pause in the middle, ‘Los Feliz (Blues and Greens)’, is possibly my favourite, although I have no clue what they are on about, I think wishing all Americans dead is a high risk strategy these days, especially if you live there or want to tour.
If you liked The Jesus and Mary Chain back in the day this will appeal, If you loved them, this will revive your feedback blues. Listening to Darklands (‘April Skies’ in particular) again and Psychocandy has been a Joy, though it can Damage the older ears.
War On Peace ***
All Things Pass ***
Always Sad *****
Song For A Secret ****
The Two Of Us ****
Los Feliz (Blues and Greens) ****
Mood Rider ****
Presidici (Et Chapaquiditch) ***
Get On Home ***
Facing Up To The Facts ****
Simian Split ***
Black And Blues ***
Can’t Stop The Rock ***
Listen to Damage and Joy on Tidal Masters here
Recent Jim Reid Interview – http://thequietus.com/articles/21994-interview-the-jesus-mary-chain-s-jim-reid
JAMC Interview in 2015 – http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/jesus-and-mary-chain-look-back-on-30-years-of-psychocandy-20150428
Album – Damage and Joy
Artist – Jesus and Mary Chain
Download These At Least – Always Sad, Los Feliz (Blues and Greens), The Two of Us, Amputation
Source – Tidal Master
Player – iMac
Amplification/Output – Audio Pro LV33e
Album Released – 24th March 2017
14 Tracks, 53′.01″