Category: Album & EP Reviews

Album & EP ReviewsRecord Reviews

The Jesus and Mary Chain | Damage and Joy

The Jesus and Mary Chain have finally returned with a new album, 19 years after ‘Munki’. The post punk, indie band that has dominated a large majority of independent film soundtracks, the return with the new material has been highly anticipated. Jessica Borden asks if it lives up to the hype.

As the album kicks off with ‘Amputation’, a punch post punk track filled with the opening distortion and the guitars that the band is so well loved for, the haze that appears is one that leads the listener to a flashback moment of the first time they heard The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The inclusion of the duet ‘Always Sad’ with Bernadette Denning, feels like a sudden change of pace for fourth track, a song of longing and romance between distant lovers which plays to the traditional stylings of the band but the pairing with the female vocals leads it to be reminiscent of those 90’s indie tracks from amazing female led bands (The Cardigans and No Doubt leap to mind).

On ‘Moon rider’ and ‘Get On Home’, JAMC seem to be well in their stride of this album after throwing some curve balls towards the listener, the bands style appears to have remained true. Their lyrical stylings of have unusually remained pretty similar and true to the post punk ethos and in a constant bind of the tumultuous nature of relationships, a universal subject if there ever was one.

Less distortion on tracks does mean the listener gets to hear all about the ‘blow up girl’ and ‘LSD’ of ‘Get On Home’ but this clarity over the songs seems like a true extension of their last album ‘Munki’ which strayed from JAMC’s traditional distorted layers upon layers of music over the vocals.

With the same ballsy clarity the opening to Simian Split following the 80’s style electro ‘I killed kurt Cobain I put the shot right through his brain and his wife gave me the job’ is a sure way to grab the attention of anyone. The track which acts out as a conspiracy theory but as a whole adds a darker tension to the album adding to the damage scale.

Sky Ferreira guest vocals on ‘Black and Blues’ and is the perfect accompaniment to the harsher vocals of Jim Reid and even for this track the music takes a back seat, of course when there are no vocals the hazy twisting guitar fills the interlude in the best way possible but these vocal pairings on this specific track is the best penultimate track there could be.

The use of female singers on this album is the essential piece which has allowed The Jesus and Mary Chain to return 19 years later and even with a sound which is the perfect follow up to their last album and still sounding like it has a place in 2017. This isn’t just a band harking back to their golden age.

So how do you feel about The Jesus and Mary Chain’s studio album return? Let us know in the Comments!

image: official cover art
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