Monday, January 24, 2011

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Upside Down

And so to the almightily blasted bastardry & biker-jacketed, black-hair/eye/heart balladry of the Reids on this colossal career retrospective that kicks the previous 21 SINGLES & that rip-off box-set into several back alleys with a mere sneer (despite lacking Bo Diddley Is Jesus, Little Red Rooster and Everything Is Alright When You're Down). From the first tumultuous tirade of the arrestable angst that is the title track to the last (so far...) recording of All Things Must Pass these 44 tracks shall always contain so many essential life-affirming monuments it's almost unspeakable. Forget the aging headlines that they ailed after the famously feedback-spattered PSYCHOCANDY, the Mary Chain, besides a few falterings, have been unfailingly fascinating throughout. Shorn of the noise that only the cloth-eared fixated on, DARKLANDS is a far better set of doomed paroxysms & wistfully insistent stoicism (Nine Million Rainy Days). Even the slight addled dips on AUTOMATIC & HONEY'S DEAD they're ever a fearsome and dumbfoundingly poignant act amidst the petulance (case in point the wonderful collision of Jim's I Love Rock'n'Roll tussling with William's explosive vitriol on I Hate Rock'n'Roll) right up to closing shot MUNKI. A marvellous morass of buckled pop & brokedown dirges (Mo Tucker vs Black here). Undoubtedly one of the most bypassed records ever (and yes, up there like The 13th Floor Elevators several years ago) that surpasses it's own predecessor STONED & DETHRONED in such stakes. The latter being a lovely album of lilting hazy ballads with guest collaborations included here with Hope Sandoval on Sometimes Always and Shane MacGowan on God Help Me.
Climb through this litter of classic crestfallen seizure's on 7" like April Skies, Happy When It Rains, Sidewalking, Cracking Up, Darklands, Just Like Honey, Some Candy Talking and see the list really is endless, alongwith their knack of incomprehensibe, just about unsurpassed ability not to put the extra 'e' in b-sides (Kill Surf City) as well as choice covers (Leonard Cohen's Tower Of Strength, Syd Barrett's Vegetable Man). For goodness, the good son & his bedevilled progeny's sake they even manage to make the dreary Sweet Jane great on Halfway To Crazy. Genius. So stop reading this back to front upside down all cells akimbo excuse for a review & wallow blissfully. Unbiasedly of couse.
Reverence indeed. They may have been lampooned for the Candy/Cindy/Cherry triumvirate but did those that did ever mean anything? A band that can still save your lives. While cutting you dead with an incidental lyric (see Happy When It Rains' 'Look at me enjoying something' & try not to slobber) or levitating you on a one chord mushroom cloud.
Stu Gibson
The Quireboys - Live In London
Global Music

Part of Global's Live & Loud CD/DVD sets (that includes a pretty gruesomely sizzly Twisted Sister reunion as well as Wednesday 13) aimed specifically at the spartan partisan's out there. This one from rejuvenated live mainstays The Quireboys comes with a flurry of fan / internet palaver about it being an unofficial release. Whichever way wears well, it matters not. Tis odd it's from almost a decade ago so maybe behind the scenes boredroom balladry did ensue, or the band felt the lack of fire amid the well performed bonhomie that rings a bit hollow. Anyway back to that whichever what way where. As a package, it's a bit scant (being a support show for, um, Thunder) to entice anyone but that most ardent collectivist, showcasing as it does their proclivity for regurgitating the same old riffs that they'd managed to rejig severely well in their brief '89-'90 hey day on the still 3/4 great A BIT OF WHAT YOU FANCY. They're still an entertaining night out as a rule but the live DVD ain't the most thrilling spectacle from your front room as you clear up a bit on a boozeless Sunday afternoon either, unless you're a female for whom Spike is something of the Colin Firth for thee, or are really short of Telecaster porn, however entertaining Guy Griffin's riffin (oh come on...) is at times. Face it, this should be stamped 'Does not contain Mayfair or Man On The Loose, never mind Sweet Mary Ann' & be done in a dumper. Wasted chance for a splendid celebration like the same label's recent Therapy? colossal live double.
Stu Gibson
The Tenebrous Liar - Run Run Run
TV Records

Recorded in a three day tryst seemingly right on the back of previous revelation from the book of ragged disarry that is, was and will be, at a guess, JACKKNIFED AND SLAUGHTERED*, this new catclysmic incision from the productive Notts night-terrors surpasses that still further. It's still a morass of skulking grotesques suppurating from squalid grandeur but is if anything clawing it's way out of the quagmire, having, in some doubtless tremendous delirium, wound up a ten-Gallon Drunk in a Gun Club known to no man yet open to all. Once again there's the gloriously rancorous guitar scythings cutting through the fallout dustclouds of amorous dishevellment intoned with almost iridescently irrepressible rancour on the coruscatingly tempestuous, eloquent catastrophe of Western Skies - elegantly spatchcocking Joy Division's best bit to The Passenger piloted by Sonic Youth & a spat-tastic Jim & William Reid - enticingly queasy combo of The Sickness and Desire (reprised with endlessly renewable venemous nihilism near the end) the spluttering half-light dawning of Realise and closing crumblin coastline lament of Gaze Upon The Sea. Hell's teabags, they even hit the dancefloor in snub-nosed nimble-toed, knittin-needle behind your kneecap mode on Primed Lined And Centred. Yet the best may just be the Jonathan Richman regurgitating rhyme & treason on the stumble-stomp happy howl of Out. Suitably storming, have yerself a blast of shrugged, half-suggested greatness.
Stu Gibson
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