March 2017, Best Rock Album: Damage and Joy by The Jesus and Mary Chain

JESUS AND MARY CHAIN - 1280x300

The Reid brothers are back. After about twenty years of silence (their previous LP dates back to 1998) the two belligerents Scottish alternative rockers have put aside differences and incompatibilities and eventually found the inspiration and motivation to get back into the studio and produce a new album. Damage and Joy is the seventh album in the career of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and it is almost unbelievable to recognize how this record seems in every respect the natural evolution of their earlier works, despite all the time that has passed in the meantime.

None of the albums they’ve released since has sounded quite the same, but they all invariably feel the same. As the Mary Chain’s first full-length since the late ’90s proves, it will take more than a nearly two-decade recording hiatus to diminish the band’s intrinsic ultraviolet vibe (Pitchfork)

The revolutionary spirit of their beginning has largely dissolved, however. What remains is a sense of pleasure and joy that the musicians have in playing pure and simple rock. The album collects together a  few tracks written by the band during the last ten years, basically since they began again to play together, and some newer songs composed specifically for this record. The music from the band is always very interesting to listen, these artists of rock have the special gift of balancing immediacy with inspiration, and as a matter of fact their melodies never transcends into banality or the pure replica of an established pattern. Their sound is maybe less energetic and raw than in previous works, the songwriting has now matured towards a more calm and introspective approach.

To make a good record in our fifties. the way we are … I think is a minor miracle (Jim Reid from Consequence of Sound)

For making Damage and Joy,  Jim and William Reid were supported by producer and Killg Joke bassist Martin “Youth” Glover, Brian Young on drums, and Phil King on bass. There are a number of guests artitst, such as Scottish singer-songwriter and cellist player Isobel Campbell, and American singer and actress Sky Tonia Ferreira.

Guerino’s rating: 7 / 10.

 

 

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