Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jesus & Mary Chain - Birthday

(Sub Pop, 1998)

As part of the Sub Pop Singles Club, “Birthday” is a “limited” blue-vinyl pressing of 2,000 (snort) made near-pointless by featuring as its A-side a track pulled straight from Munki, the Jesus & Mary Chain’s terminally-dull swan song. The band sleepwalks through the track (and, heck, most of that LP), faking all the old “rock” moves that are pure rote by this point, and the result is essentially a dispiriting zombie-take on the Darklands era. The intimate “Hide Myself” at least has some soul to it, sounding as it does a bit like an outtake from the more homey, rootsy Stoned and Dethroned record; not bad. Still, the song was also made available on the UK “Cracking Up” single at the time, so there’s absolutely no reason to ever have bought this collector-freak 7”, unless the tasteless artwork (naked lady plus “happy toilet” caption) has a spot reserved on your dorm-room Wall O’ Sexism. This record is lifeless and sad in almost every way, and is clearly the end of the road for the JAMC. Trash, this! TRASH!

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