r&r diary – Psycho Candy – Land of Echo & Reverb – 10.18.12

Sometimes the minimalist approach is just the ticket. Take one really good idea (just like James Brown said), and run it into the ground. That’s the Jesus & Mary Chain’s 1985 record “Psycho Candy.” They take one really good idea: marry Phil Spector’s reverb-drenched “wall of sound” to icy, distorted, over-driven guitars and disembodied vocals, and run with it. And it’s glorious. You can understand why some consider it a classic record. It’s all monochrome. Black and white. A big, echoey, majestic, sound. It’s also thin, brittle, and edgy. The guitars sound like electric shavers, or rinky-dink chain-saws, or swarms of bumblebees. There’s emotion and thunder, but it’s all bathed in shimmery, doom-laden, echo and reverb. I picked up the “re-mastered” disc ($5.99) at my local used CD store, 2nd Hand Tunes. It’s a great time to be into buying CDs. I’ve been playing the disc pretty obsessively over the last few weeks. It’s a perfect studio creation from another place and time. A hermetic, studio-land of reverb and echo. Edgy and cool. “Just Like Honey.” And at the end, when the sonic daggers get swallowed into silence, you are just left with the after-glow of that sound! – Jammer

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