The Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy review: ‘good but rarely great’

Rick Pearson
New album: The Jesus and Mary Chain have released Damage and Joy

Like an alt-rockin’ Oasis, The Jesus and Mary Chain’s success is built around the dynamic of two warring brothers — in this case, Jim and William Reed.

Following the inevitable breakup in 1999, this is the East Kildride band’s first album in 19 years. It sees them largely stick to the same post-punk template of their heyday.

Album opener Amputation is all buzzsaw guitars and snarled vocals. As is to be expected from men in their mid-fifties, things are a little flabby around the middle: Get On Home’s grisly guitars and single-entendres (“I’ve got a pistol in my pocket, it’s going to shoot its load”) certainly doesn’t sound like the product of nearly two decades of writing.

Still, the sweet, sun-kissed Song for a Secret proves they can still pen gorgeous melodies – it’s the highlight of an album that’s regularly good but rarely great.

(Artificial Plastic)

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