CD Review // The Jesus and Mary Chain
Damage and joy // Artificial Plastic Records
The Jesus and Mary Chain released Damage and Joy on March 24 in a release that seemed ostensibly out-of-the-blue. It is difficult not to get over-eager when a band that is long past its prime decides to release a new album.
The album is a tranquil recline into 14 tracks of sedation. On this album, the brothers return to their old musical stomping grounds; recovering the sound that is quintessentially The Jesus and Mary Chain.
The album begins with the track “Amputation”; “Fucked up girls like drugged up guys,” Jim Reid gripes over distorted guitars and synths. Throughout the album, it is difficult to separate the sound of the yester-year 20-year-olds that thrived in the 80s from the sullen 50-year-olds they are today. The album acts almost as an anthology of their past angst attempted to be expressed in a more adult way.
“Always Sad” is another charmingly jejune track. Beginning with battering drums and shrieking guitars, the track eases into Reid’s pining vocals also joined by a female vocalist every other chorus. “I think I’m always gonna be sad,” Reid broods over distinctly smoother instrumentals, adopting a somewhat more surf-rock lament.
Damage & Joy is familiar, comfortable, noticeably softer but still moody as hell.