The Jesus And Mary Chain: Glasgow Eyes [Album Review]

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The Jesus And Mary Chain
Glasgow Eyes
Fuzz Club Records [2024]

Album Overview: The Jesus and Mary Chain, which has been an influential band formed by brothers Jim and William Reid for the last 40 years, have returned with the release of their new album Glasgow Eyes. The band has been known for their intense, darkly romantic music, as they emerged in the early 1980s, blending past, present, and future into a unique sonic experience. Glasgow Eyes not only marks a significant milestone in The Jesus and Mary Chain’s storied career but also exemplifies their ability to evolve while staying true to their roots. The band still delivers its blend of intense guitar-driven soundscapes and darker mood but now incorporates more electronica into the mix. It is a change for sure but does not distract overall from the album although for the pioneers of alternative rock I actually wish they would have returned completely back to their roots!

Musical Style: The Jesus and Mary Chain’s musical style is still a blend of intense guitar-driven soundscapes, but now elements of electronica are worked into these 12 tracks. Their music often carries a raw, gritty edge, complemented by Jim Reid’s distinctive vocals and William Reid’s powerful guitar work. That edge still exists here as the band still seamlessly merges elements of punk, alternative rock, and electronic music, which creates a sound that feels innovative.

Evolution of Sound: Over their four-decade-long career, The Jesus and Mary Chain have continuously evolved their sound while staying true to their core aesthetic. From their early days of experimentalism and noise-pop in the 1980s to their incorporation of more electronic influences in later years, the band has consistently pushed boundaries and defied expectations. Glasgow Eyes demonstrates a continued evolution, blending their signature guitar-driven sound with new electronic textures and influences. Overall the album is not greatly consistent because of the new avenues but should still appeal to longtime fans.

Artists with Similar Fire: The Jesus and Mary Chain’s unique blend of guitar-driven rock and electronic elements has influenced countless artists across genres. Bands like My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and The Raveonettes share similarities in their use of noise, feedback, and distortion, while contemporaries such as The Pixies and Joy Division also draw inspiration from the band’s dark, atmospheric soundscapes. There still are not many bands today that have the Jesus and Mary chain sound although A Place To Bury Strangers, Crocodiles, Dehd and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club come to mind.

Pivotal Tracks: “jamcod” was a solid lead single that showcases The Jesus and Mary Chain’s signature blend of electronica and guitar-driven rock, with Jim Reid’s hypnotic chant anchoring the track. “Venal Joy” kicks off the album with their bigger focus on electronics, demonstrating the band’s ability to blend their signature noise-pop sound. “Chemical Animal” is later in the record as it just simmers and has a familiar introspective mood that really brings you into the track.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrical content here highlights The Jesus and Mary Chain’s exploration of themes dealing with alienation, desire, and existential angst. Jim Reid’s still possesses a haunting vocal that creates a sense of poetic intensity. Glasgow Eyes’ lyrics still possess a timeless quality to them that invites interpretation and introspection.

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Christopher Anthony
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