Boy, the way their melodies stand so fragile in the midst of those violent guitars...
It's so sensual.
I like beautiful things and this band is extremely good in writing beautiful melodies.
Although the instruments are in general noisy, the singing that goes along is cool as hell.
I liked it immediately. Luckily I was taping that evening a complete radio show, so I could listen over and over and over again to this song.
I liked these cool warm voices, the careful squealing guitars, the drums in control and the girlie backing vocals, it sounded a little bit like X-mas. Peace for everyone and stuff...
Some days later I taped a second album track 'Sowing seeds'. This song was just as interesting as the first one.
A great band had entered my life.
After reading several hot reviews I wanted to buy the forthcoming album 'Psychocandy', but
as so many other young students I had a never ending financial problem.
Years later when the band already had seduced me into buying other J&MC albums,
I bought 'Psychocandy' too.
'My little underground', 'Never understand',
'The hardest walk' and many more are just rough musical diamonds.
It was the big breakthrough.
The band had discovered how to give their songs a more polished sound. Now their music was perfect.
And it paid off.
The band got themselves a big reputation with this album. It got good reviews everywhere and it was one of the best album released that year. It was not as rough and noisy as 'Psychocandy', it sounded more polished but still rough and heavy enough to be cool.
The first single 'April skies' knocked me right off of my feet.
They did it again.
The alternative music press went hysterical on this new album, as I can remember especially on the title-track 'Darklands', a more balanced rocksong appealing to older folks.
The second single 'Happy when it rains' was somewhat more explosive.
This time I wanted to buy the album and after some saving I could buy my first J&MC album.
It contained ten songs, ten beautiful songs. Some songs featured heavy guitars like 'Down on me', others had great melodies like 'Cherry came too' and others were pretty sober (compared to traditional J&MC-songs at that time) like 'Nine million rainy days' (gorgeous song) and a cute 'About you'.
I was so proud of this album, and I could hardly stop bragging about it.
This album contained B-sides, covers, try-outs and more. It carried a label 'expect to pay as little as possible' and indeed, it was not that expensive. I could buy it without putting up a long term economical plan.
The album was just a collection of left-overs (hence the low price tag). This means in general lesser great songs, the songs that never made it to other albums. Well, the press liked it and one reviewer in a popular mag put it this way: this bands garbage is even better then a lot of other bands diamonds.
He was right.
'Don't ever change', a song that was rumored to be on 'Darklands' graced as a first single and we (me and all the girls in my dreams this time) adored this calm sensitive rocking love song.
I found 16 more beautiful songs, among them great covers like 'Surfin' USA' and 'Who do you love'. They revealed the bands influences, the boys liked the Beach Boys and Bo Diddley.
Freaking freaking freaking hot is 'Sidewalking' with those gorgeous ass-kicking drums
and determined drivin' guitars. This song is still one of my favorites.
It kicks ass.
A part I find irresistible is the 'Surfin' USA' cover followed immediately by
'Everything's alright when you're down'.
'Happy place' and 'On the wall (remixed)' embody the perfect pop song and 'Taste of Cindy' is the fragile acoustic bit to cherish.
And then there was 'Automatic'.
Now I find it hard to believe I didn't like 'Here comes Alice' (openingstrack) right away. It sounds perfect.
I got used to this new speedy rock sound and... I adored it.
In fact, all songs became big favorites except 'UV-ray' and 'Gimme hell', they're the more experimental kind and they don't have this clean speedy drive other songs have.
Years later I bought the CD version just to discover 2 extra tracks, one of them a major surprise.
This album became my favorite album for years.
I know the album is hard to find but take the risk and buy or steal it if you can. Give it time and find it highly rewarding.
In 1990 the band released the 'Rollercoaster-EP', containing 4 songs.
The reverberating guitars and the dragging voices do it again.
This album has some great songs, but also for the first time some lesser songs.
It had to happen once.
Even after playing the album several times, there are still some songs that don't grab my attention or anything else for the matter and dully pass me by.
But that's my opinion. It's my least favorite J&MC album.
Most fans went nuts on 'Reverence', the first single from this album
and one that became a true J&MC classic.
Only two songs I really really like : 'Good for my soul' and 'Far gone and out'
because they sound more inspiring.
Other tracks were okay, though not that brilliant nor sharp.
However, as a fan, I bought all CD singles because usually they contained some unreleased exotic material.
The sound of speed' contained all the rare B-sides I collected over the years and luckily some new numbers. Even more, one day I discovered in a big record store the Japanese import version of this album, which had a slightly different tracklist. It was quite expensive but I bought it without any hesitation.
Those few new tracks 'I'm glad I never', 'Terminal beach' and 'Subway' are all great songs (amongst the better ones in fact) and I wonder why they're not on the European version.
I fell in love with 'My girl', a very sober acoustic cover
of a Temptations song with the right feelings in the right place. Ronald White (writer) can
be very very proud of this one.
But the kind of song that always works for me is those guitar or drum loaded
pop songs with a divine rhythm.
Romance in the high speed nineties.
Another song that impressed me is 'Guitarman'.
It's a real fine album and you can really dig your teeth into it.
It's my favorite Jesus & Mary Chain album.
Again, I didn't like it immediately.
It was different, again. The songs are not that guitar loaded or noisy. No heavy drives anymore, just adorable pop-songs and it took me some time to get used to it. I wonder why because the album doesn't sound complicated at all.
It's simply delicious.
It has beautiful lazy vibes all over... It's a Jesus & Mary Chain in a peaceful and quiet mode.
The single 'Sometimes always' even made it into the national charts
(and this when Take That was ruling this world).
Like I already said, the album has a very relaxed pop sound.
I like to play it whenever I get a little bit twisted in this world.
One time I heard some of the songs as catwalk music on a fashion show.
It's the most underrated album of the nineties.
It's still my all time favorite album (okay, only second to 'Dance remixes' by Mylène Farmer - but still...).
Almost six long years went by before a new album called 'Munki' was released. I even feared the band had split up in the meantime. It was big news in my room when this album got released.
And... damned but not all songs were super stars.
It opens with 'I love rock'n roll' (the first single choice) and 16 songs later, it ends with 'I hate rock'n roll', a song that was released as a single some years earlier.
In-between a wide variety of quality that seemed to improve over the years.
The 2nd single 'Cracking up' hit the bulls eye with thunder.
I was sure this would be a massive world hit for the boys.
Some similar songs appear on the album though they're not that impressive as 'Cracking up
but they come close.
Two songs aren't in place.
They close the album with 'I hate rock'n roll'.
Sounds like they mean it too.
Then came the bad news. During a gig in September '98 in California the band split up. It seemed like the two brothers had a dispute and both brothers were planning going solo. Although not yet confirmed it seems the band doesn't exist anymore.
For the moment I'm looking forward to the solo-stuff of the two brothers. If we're lucky, we get more
good music, if we're not so lucky, the magic is gone.
My all time J&MC favorites :
the Pontiac Firebird Wing :
Pamela Sue -
Firebird Trips -
the Music Wing : Jesus & Mary Chain - John Mellencamp - Mylène Farmer - INXS - Neon Judgement
the Scale Model Wing : My Plastic - Dads Plastic - Guide - Plastic Gatherings - Links to Plastic
the Cool Clickings Wing