Posts Tagged ‘Phil Spector’

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Jesus and Mary Chain: Darklands (1987)

October 11, 2013

darklands

Roll: 3-9-16
Album: Jesus and Mary Chain, Darklands — 2011 2CD/1DVD reissue

Until Stoned and Dethroned (1994) came out, Darklands (1987) was always my least favourite Jesus and Mary Chain record. It didn’t deliver what I wanted from JAMC. Sure, “Happy When It Rains“, boasts the mechanical post-modern rock’n’roll sound I loved on Automatic (1989), but not to the same extent; like it was a demo for that later album’s whole sound. But more importantly, and more detrimentally, Darkands famously abandons the “savage noise-pop” of Psychocandy (1985). To me Darklands was always a sort of nebulous, half-formed, netherworld of an album. So, in a way, one of their most aptly titled collections.

Over the years I’ve remained eternally hopeful and every time I listen to Darklands I expect to hear something in it I’d previously missed. Some hint of the magic and brilliance that’s been ascribed to it by music journalists, fans and bloggers in the years since it’s release. And though I’ll admit it never sounds as bad as I remember, I’ve never been able to hear it as other than a lethargic, boring mid-tempo folk-rock record marred by some pretty glaringly cheesy ’80s production.

I’ve never been sure if it’s just the song arrangements that never worked for me, but the John Hughes-style drum machines really don’t help matters. And I normally love me some grandiose ’80s drum machines, yet somehow I’ve always felt they sound entirely out of place on Darklands. To my ears, the album begs for an organic Sam Phillips/Sun Studio-style production. The songs are essentially a post-punk take on The Everly Brothers and deserve a more human touch.

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Suicide: First Album (expanded edition)

June 21, 2011

suicide first albumToday’s roll: 52 – 55 – 81. (This is an old review using a 2d10 system)
Result:
Suicide (First Album, expanded edition) by Suicide.

Suicide’s first album is almost impossible to write about in impartial and unprejudiced terms. It’s one of those truly original seminal works in alternative/underground rock which has had such an impact on so many artists—often indirectly—that to critique it on its own merits is an almost meaningless exercise. You can pick apart the Bible from a literary standpoint, but that’s never going to change the profound impact it’s had on culture and questioning whether or not it’s great literature in and of itself is irrelevant. To talk about this record is somewhat the same. It’s a ground zero for so much music (good, bad an indifferent) that the songs themselves almost become a footnote. But, of course, the music is the reason this record remains a timeless classic, sounding as visceral and fresh today as when it was released.

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Dum Dum Girls: I Will Be

July 21, 2010

This week’s roll: 2 1 19
Result:
I Will Be by Dum Dum Girls

This is probably the closest to an actual new release Bone Rolling Reviews has dished up for me.

Finally. Here’s proof I am hip and am down with current bands. Except I don’t really like this one that much and it’s probably not staying in my collection.

For a record that’s so far up my alley it’s landed in the next town, I Will Be leaves me strangely looking for an exit.

Ricochet sharp drums? Check. Transistor radio static guitars? Check. No more than three chords? Check. Copious reverb? Well, enough. Sure, call that a check too.

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