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Over-rated slice of British psychedelia
on 5 September 2010
Jesus And Marychain coined 'feedback-pop' which was a variation on the psychedelic revival of the 1980s. The idea was quite simple, certainly not new and clinically cynical in its concept and execution. Rather like the musical version of the alchemist's, the band took the Velvet Underground's 'White Light White Heat', added a catchy melody and Phil Spector's 'wall of sound', a layer of guitar noise - massive distortions coupled with a nihilistic ethos borrowed from the Sex Pistols and the existential despair of Joy Division, and hey presto, 'Psychocandy' (1985) was born.
Furthermore, they borrowed their iconography from The Ramones and the Sex Pistols to arrive at a new paradigm of rebellion in music. The songs are divided between tender, spectral and surreal ballads reminiscent of the chants sung by Nico ('Just Like Honey', 'You Trip Me Up', 'Hardest Walk'), tribal voodoobilly 'hyper abrasive' nods to Suicide ('Living End', 'Never Understand', 'In A Hole'), chanting melodies wrapped in hallucinogenic 'Doors-like' trance ('Taste the Floor') and rampant bubblegum choruses ('My Little Underground').
With 'Psychocandy', the Jesus And Marychain introduced a strong sense of melody and cadence, and devastating generational psychedelic anthems which exemplified the mood of the times. At the same time they revived the paranoid primitivism of the Velvet Underground. Ultimately their up-dated feed-back power-pop chimed with the ritualistic requirements of the music industry of the time.