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Album Review

As befits an album bookended by tracks titled "I Love Rock'n'Roll" and "I Hate Rock'n'Roll," the Jesus and Mary Chain's Sub Pop label debut, Munki, is schizophrenic and impassioned, a record that both summarizes the band's career to date and cleans the slate for their future. Virtually each of the 17 tracks here echoes a prior moment in the Chain's existence, moving at breakneck pace from the volcanic noise of their earliest material to the bleak grace of Darklands, through to the sleek, supercharged pop of Automatic — even Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval makes a cameo, as she did on Stoned & Dethroned. In a sense, it's an ideal primer to the Reid brothers' mercurial world, flirting with both brilliance and mediocrity; even after well over a decade, the Jesus and Mary Chain continue to thrill, irritate, and confound — they're a true love/hate obsession.

Biography

Formed: 1984 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like the Velvet Underground, their most obvious influence, the chart success of the Jesus and Mary Chain was virtually nonexistent, but their artistic impact was incalculable; quite simply, the Scottish group made the world safe for white noise, orchestrating a sound dense in squalling feedback which served as an inspiration to everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Dinosaur Jr. Though the supporting players drifted in and out of focus, the heart of the Mary Chain remained vocalists and guitarists...
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