The Jesus And Mary Chain

Damage And Joy

Written by: PP on 27/05/2017 14:27:13

Nineteen years separated from their previous studio album "Munki", iconic alternative rock brothers Jim and William Reid have buried their notorious hatchet and regrouped The Jesus And Mary Chain for their seventh overall album "Damage And Joy", just in time for their upcoming Roskilde Festival performance this summer. For our younger readers, this is a band that produced two landmark albums in the 80s ("Psychocandy" in 1985 and "Darklands" in 1987"), which essentially defined a new genre territory somewhere between rock and shoegaze. It has since then been adopted and morphed into their own purposes by the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, A Place To Bury Strangers, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Pixies and even Oasis on their post-"Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants" albums.

The official label given to "Damage And Joy" may be alternative rock, but just like on past albums, underneath the hood you'll find elements of dreamy noise rock, shoegaze, Britrock, post-punk and much else encompassed in constant atmospheric feedback and a total disassociation from any modern musical influences. It's indeed as if Reid's haven't paid any attention to the trends in the music industry and instead continue on their own unabated path of blending atmospherics with rock and shoegaze to produce a formidable arena rock sound that to date stands unique in the history of music.

Now, to be fair, critical acclaim for "Damage And Joy" hasn't exactly been there, but that's for two reasons: one, it's being unfairly measured against their 80s masterpieces, and two, about half of the songs on the record have been released in other forms on Reid brothers' other projects, solo or otherwise. Ignoring both counts, the record is an awesome reminder of raw rock and roll music created by two masterminds in the genre. From the upbeat humming and Britrock meets psychedelic experimentation of "All Things Pass" to the groovy guitars of "Always Sad" to the catchy pop-driven dreamy piece "The Two Of Us", the songs are not just unique in terms of soundscape but also characterized by depth-laden songwriting, layers upon layers of soothing melodies, and ultimately an extremely rewarding long-term listening experience.

Much of that is attributable to the droning stoner mood that Reid brothers are able to come up from thin air. Though softly-sung and dreamy, the alternative rock base ensures things never get too sappy nor generic at any point. The guitars are noisy and expansive, feedback-driven and well-contrasted by the echoing vocals, making the experience perfect for a late night show at Roskilde in the darkness this summer. Don't listen to the critics: "Damage And Joy" brings 80s and 90s flavor alternative rock and shoegaze back to life, even if it may not be comparable to their masterpieces. Nonetheless, it is a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable album that should be mandatory listening for all rock fans out there.


Download: The Two Of Us, All Things Pass, Always Sad, Amputation, Presidici (Et Chapaquiditch)
For the fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Swervedriver, Pixies, A Place To Bury Strangers
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.03.2017
ADA / Warner

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