Album Review

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes

The band appear to have tapped into a rich new vein of songwriting form.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes

Jim Reid once described the relationship between himself and his brother, William, during The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first run, which ended in ignominy in 1998, thus: “After every tour, we wanted to kill each other, and after the last one, we actually tried.” He is a master of dry understatement, then, but when he said of this first new record in seven years that listeners shouldn’t expect “the Mary Chain goes jazz,” he might have been underselling it slightly. If that last record, ‘Damage and Joy’, felt like the East Kilbride outfit were spinning their wheels a bit, there was a reason for it; many of its tracks were recycled from solo projects the Reids had undertaken in the two decades since. ‘Glasgow Eyes’, on the other hand, feels like a foray into the new, even as it marks the 40th anniversary of their seminal debut ‘Psychocandy’. This album has a bit of that one’s anarchic spirit, allowing the Reids to wander off down weird stylistic avenues. Driving rhythms derived from krautrock seem to be one recurring theme (‘Mediterranean X Film’, ‘Discotheque’), as well as the band’s most concerted venture yet into electronic-inflected territory; there are flickers of Kraftwerk, Suicide and the like on lead single ‘jamcod’ and spaced-out closer ‘Hey Lou Reid’, too. There’s the odd misstep - opener ‘Venal Joy Fast’ is Primal Scream at their most pub rock - but between the excitement of the new on ‘Glasgow Eyes’ and the presence of the more classic, indie rock side of the band on tracks like ‘The Eagles and The Beatles’, the band appear to have tapped into a rich new vein of songwriting form. On this evidence, here’s to the next forty.

Tags: The Jesus & Mary Chain, Reviews, Album Reviews

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