Album: Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll
One last great single.
As the centerpiece, title track and reason for the final of the three odds and sods compilations that The Jesus and Mary Chain would turn out during their existence, “I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a glorious return to everything that made them so wonderful in the first place.
Loud noisy feedback-laden guitars? Check. Pretty sing-along melody? Check. Misanthropic lyrics? Check. Check. Check.
Album: Stoned & Dethroned
And then things got dire for awhile. After the twin triumphs of Psychocandy and Darklands, the studied indifference that had always been part of the Reid brothers public personae began to creep into their music.
With the album titles hinting at the content within, 1989’s Automatic and 1992’s Honey’s Dead were . . . perfectly serviceable. The former had “Head On,” which inspired a pretty boss Pixies cover, and the later brought the noise back, but not the tunes.
Album: Barbed Wire Kisses
Because each of the first two Jesus and Mary Chain albums (and really, I guess, all of their subsequent albums) were intended to capture a mood, they had plenty of songs left over to stick on the b-sides of their singles.
So it wasn’t really a shock when only a few months after Darklands they put out an album collecting those b-sides, covers, outtakes, and non-album singles.
The Sunday morning coming down to Psychocandy’s wild, out-of-control Saturday night, Darklands was dominated by slow, languorous ballads, which would have never worked for me had they also not been so epic and gorgeous.
And the most epic and gorgeous of all was William Reid’s dreamy “On The Wall,” which showed up near the end of the second side and completely took it over.
So if — as we established yesterday — The Jesus and Mary Chain are happy when it rains, they must be absolutely ecstatic for 9,000,000 of them, right?
Not so much: “Nine Million Rainy Days” was a brutally despairing break-up song that started off like a dirge, and only picked up when one of the Reid brothers set the goddamned drum machine to the “Slow Groovy 60s” setting.