Monday, August 10, 2009

Jesus & Mary Chain - Far Gone And Out

(Blanco Y Negro, 1992)

I confess: This is the song that made me want to go forth and buy the entirety of the massive Jesus & Mary Chain discography. I’d previously enjoyed scattered tracks here and there, and definitely had a special shelf in my skull on which Darklands gathered dust, but it wasn’t until I sat down with “Far Gone and Out” and its parent LP that I realized how much I was into this band. Which makes sense, I suppose, given that most of the Honey’s Dead album is a refinement of the grinding dance of “Sidewalking” – itself my favorite JAMC track – married to the group’s prettiest melodies and strongest production (and vocals!) yet. The songs from this era are sleek but beefy, baggy but ballsy, dated but nasty – and always with a toe-tappy emphasis on heavy percussion. Meaning: PERFECT. And “Far Gone and Out” is the peppiest track on the alb, a natural choice for a single as it takes early Mary Chain noisiness and tames it within the confines of a classic pop hit as filtered through post-rave chart-awarene$$. Huh…?? Wha?? Whatever, it works! IN SPADES. On the other side of the single – and it’s worth noting that this is about the time when the band stopped requiring you to buy everything they shat out by no longer spreading the B-sides across zillions of overlapping formats – “Why’d You Care” clearly wouldn’t have fit on the album, its rich, chiming, tambourine-n-acoustic-driven sensitivity sharing little with the hips-n-Ecstasy sleeplessness of Honey’s Dead. Still, it’s an extremely fine B-side (mix-disc worthy, even) that oughta be heard widely, preferably via that crazy Power of Negative Thinking box, where it’s surrounded by scads of similarly-OK JAMC castoffs that keep the quality level upper-noggin-high. Basically: Buy EVERYTHING the band did in the early ’90s. Zero kidding. Not enough admit it, but this was the true high point for these goofs – spend accordingly.

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