The Jesus and Mary Chain: the bond between pop and sonic disarray
Alejandro De Luna
It was 10 years ago when The Jesus and Mary Chain returned to the live music scene. The following decade saw the band reviving their catalogue of pop angst and deranged noise in front of new audiences, and in 2015, the Reid brothers celebrated Psychocandy‘s 30th anniversary with a full album live performance.
With a trajectory defined by timeless records driven by nihilism and internal frictions, 2017 marks an important landmark in the career of the group. Today Jim and William Reid return with Damage and Joy, their first full-length album in almost 20 years. With a European and North American tour that will take them through Europe and North America, the Scottish feedback-induced machine remain untouched by the banalities of modern music — as when they were playing those chaotic 15 min gigs in the mid-’80s.
It would be pointless to talk about pop music crafted by pain, narcotics, friction, nihilism and noise without mentioning The Jesus and Mary Chain. In more than 30 years since the release of ‘Upside Down’ — three minutes of psychotic pop and noise bliss — few groups represent dread and melancholy like The Jesus and Mary Chain. If the Reid brothers deconstructed key elements of mavericks such as The Velvets, The Stooges, Phil Spector or The Ramones, they also added narcissism, chaos and a unique sensibility to craft memorable pop songs camouflaged by heavy reverbs and sonic disarray.
Ahead of Manchester’s gig tomorrow evening at Manchester Academy, The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s Damage and Joy is the culmination of a deeply influential career from a group that remains at the highest level when it comes to British pop music and anarchic noise.