The Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy Review

By Andrew Vela
Music Journalist

Artist: The Jesus and Mary Chain
Album: Damage and Joy
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Label: Artificial Plastic Records

I wish I knew where to start writing this, but I’ll start off by just saying this band’s name. The Jesus and freaking Mary Chain. Kings of noise-punk, alternative rock, and post-punk. TJAMC are a Scottish band that formed in 1983 with brothers Jim and William Reid. Their first album, Psychocandy, was released two years later and was to go down as one of the greatest noise albums of all time. Their last album, which was in 1998, titled Munki, was going to be the band’s final album. It wasn’t until 2007, eight years later, that the band was to perform and reunite at Coachella. In result, TJAMC released their first album in almost 20 years titled Damage and Joy in 2017.

One of the most notable tracks on this album is named “All Things Pass.” In this song, vocalist Jim Reid sings about waking up and each day being his last. He talks about how every drug he takes is going to be his last and he’s hoping not to die. This is one of the more noticeable tracks that stands out lyric-wise, where Reid is almost crying out. He has, “taken a vow to prove myself to find me.” That is what this song is: a vow to prove to himself that he isn’t lost after all. It combines their famous post-punk-y drums while delivering the noise rock that Psychocandy delivered and Munki’s hipster vibes.

Another song that stands out to me, probably my favorite track on this record, is “Mood Rider.” This song is the perfect representation of what The Jesus and Mary Chain have formed to be. It contains the best blends of their previous music and provides something new for listeners across the globe to enjoy. It has guitarist’s William Reid’s loud but calm solos and heavy drums, but all in a melancholic way. This is another song lyrically that is Jim’s way of trying to tell himself that he is okay when in reality, he is not.

This album’s B-sides gets very nostalgic. It feels like you are listening to Honey’s Dead, another notable release by TJAMC in 1992. There are some memorable tracks from this album: “Black and Blues” featuring Sky Ferreira, “Get on Home,” and “Can’t Stop the Rock.” This album is a culmination of what TJAMC have grown to be. It is truly an album that listeners across the spectrum will enjoy.

Fans of The Jesus and Mary Chain will find The Cure, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and more to their liking.

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