The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy

by Jim Harris Rating:6 Release Date:2017-03-31

So I didn’t know what to expect from the Jesus and Mary Chain.  They’ve been around a long time (And so have I) and I saw them a few years into their career and they did one of their infamously short sets (about 30 minutes) of pure distortion and stillness on stage before heading off and not returning.

That was disappointing, offputting and well, pretty damn cool in retrospect.  And they established a pedal-driven shoegazing wave of loud fuzz that would presage a new wave of 90s shoegaze, psych alternative music that would span, in my mind, the most fertile wave of alternative music ever that stretched into well...1995.  I was in awe of Ride and Catherine Wheel and Lush and so on. Then, the genre would fade and morph into a sort of hipster pop psych that would have all those brilliant shoegazing bands desperately in search of a hit.  ...I hate rock and roll...I love rock and roll…

I’ve listened to Damage and Joy more times than most music lately that I review.  Solid Jesus and Mary Chain attitude grooves, pounding mid-tempo riffs, silly lyrics (I killed Kurt Cobain...I took LSD with a blow up doll who went on MTV…).  All the elements of late period Jesus and Mary Chain that I had to grow into but still play quite frequently, B-Sides, Munki, etc.

But unfortunately Damage and Joy is a logical progression of their sound...circa late 90s.

There isn’t an original tune to be found on this one.  There is nothing here that puts them above a retro band.  Nothing like The Buzzcocks keep progressing towards or the freshness Bob Mould brings to each new album.  

Damage and Joy is a cobbled-together relic of another time, another place when bands could no longer peddle out long waves of ear bending distortion to fill an auditorium.  A time when they desperately tried to stay ahead of Napster with something that constituted pop music.

Oh, well.  I love rock and roll.  I hate rock and roll.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars