Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The beauty in the ugly noise of The Jesus and Mary Chain

Your band must be doing something right when simply playing a gig sparks a riot.
Scotland's THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN accomplished the feat in March 1985, when a gig at the North London Polytechnic descended into fights.
That early in their career, the Mary Chain were already among the most-polarizing bands. A divide exists to this day between fans of the band's unique take on pop convention and those who only hear ear-splitting noise.
I'm in the former camp, and I ruminated about the band's music -- especially the early singles and debut album, "PSYCHOCANDY" -- while driving around town this week.
The Jesus and Mary Chain aficionado hears the band produce beautiful pop songs smothered in howling squalls of eye-watering feedback.
What's the attraction?
I think the genius of the Mary Chain was that they realized that one way to accentuate something is to place it in the closest possible proximity to its opposite.
It's a reason why a beautiful flower stands out against the grey backdrop of a crumbling apartment building.
I think it's also a reason why the Mary Chain's songs resonate so strongly in me. They arrive glowing from deep crevices of sinister blackness.


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