The Jesus and Mary Chain have once again become quite active. Last year, they debuted their first-ever full live performance of Psychocandy, the group’s 1985 debut album. Now, as the Scottish noise pop pioneers arrive on the 30th anniversary of the album’s release, they are headed to the U.S. Hardcore fans should be delighted that the sometimes-at-odds siblings, Jim and William Reid, have made amends. The band has been on-again and off-again for many years. Besides the tour, they also have high hopes that this year might see the production of a new album.
That The Jesus and Mary Chain are channeling their roots with these live shows bodes well for fans of the traditional JAMC. However, this writer has long enjoyed their experimental leaps. As much as I like to lose myself in it, droning din can only hold my attention for so long. In 1994 the group made an incredible shift in their sound, highlighting melodies untreated by effects, fuzz and reverb and featuring the clearest vocals ever on a JAMC record. Stoned and Dethroned was a compelling album not just because of its surprising new sounds but also how it highlights what great songwriters the JAMC are.
It became a huge hit for the band, much to the chagrin of some of the more traditional JAMC fans. I had a sneak listen in the form of a promo CD from American Recordings, and below you will find a facsimile of the review I first wrote for a music ‘zine called “Jam Entertainment News,” which was later published by my college paper, “The Beacon,” from Florida International University (click to enlarge and read):
I’ll leave you with a video pick from the album featuring Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval in what is probably the album’s perkiest track:
The Jesus and Mary Chain kick off their North American tour in Canada today (May 1) and continue into the USA until the middle of the month. Tour dates are as follows:
May 1 – Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON
May 3 – St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, MI
May 5 – Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL
May 7 – The Bomb Factory, Deep Ellum, TX
May 9 – Austin Psych Fest Presents Levitation, Austin, TX
May 11 – Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO
May 13 – Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC
May 14 – Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA
May 16 – Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA