Welcome back to another piece in our several thousand volume series, Doktor Paimon’s Leftover Meds. Once a week (or more, if I feel like it) I’m going to hit random on my phone and review the first album to come up in my not-inconsiderable collection of varied music ranging from total crap to beloved crap to things I’m a little bit pissed nobody else has listened to.
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Feedback is the name of the game with The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first release. By “feedback” I don’t mean dirty tone, a hot amp, or sloppy production. This isn’t the fuzz of stoner metal. On Psychocandy, The Jesus and Mary Chain assault you with a wall of abrasive, flensing, overwhelming pop-and-crack that could render livestock barren and make Trent Reznor ask if maybe its all a bit too much. Its everywhere, on everything. The album is downright uncomfortable in headphones at even reasonable volumes.
Oddly enough, The Jesus and Mary Chain push well-constructed 80's guitar pop fare through this aural assault filter. The disparity is revolutionary and challenging enough to remain engaging for the shade over 43 minutes this album takes to run its course, but the end result becomes an album that’s widely considered a classic but which I think would have been better if a bit more discipline had been employed. The problem, to my mind, is that someone in the band was a little ashamed of being too close to a pop act and not confident enough in the power of their work to subvert that aesthetic. The Jesus and Mary Chain are writing good songs and William Reid is pumping out consistently interesting licks underneath the sandpaper, playing with interesting ideas that would be expanded on Darklands, their next release.
Bottom Line:Psychocandy is interesting but The Jesus and Mary Chain got better fast.