Psychocandy is the debut studio album by Scottish rock band the Jesus and Mary Chain. It was released in November 1985 on Blanco y Negro Records. The album is considered a landmark recording: its combination of guitar feedback and noise with traditional pop melody and structure proved influential on the forthcoming shoegazing genre and alternative rock in general. The band moved from its abrasive sound with the release of their second album, 1987's Darklands.Wikipedia
this must've been hard to understand in 1985. i love it. the howling proto-guitar-wash running underneath everything, the kinda holdover-from-punk-rock tone they have, all mixed with the super calm, almost dead vocals, make for a fantastic soup of noise and love. it's like if daniel ash went to sing with lou reed, and i love it.
I’ve heard just like honey. But not much else from this band. Now I know where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gets their schtick. I feel like this is perfect post punk, heavily distorted, the vocals blend like an instrument almost taking a back seat to the guitars. It’s like slow motion Ramones—“you trip me up” literally sounds like “blutzkrieg bop” in half time. The distortion and heavy vocal reverb makes for a hypnotic feel as the band jump a back and forth between soft and heavy. You can see the roots of shoegaze here, it’s like Sonic youth without all the avant garde shit. Only complaint is that it was a touch repetitive, could’ve cut like 3-4 songs. Loved it. Added to Spotify library.
Am I insane? This album makes me so fucking angry. The distortion is so OTT it makes most songs unlistenable. Seriously, I had to switch my earphones to make sure my speakers weren't broken. If they blasted this in Guantanamo Bay it would be classed at cruel and unusual punishment. What makes it worse is the songs under the added effect sound pretty decent.
On hearing this when it was first released I was a little disappointed that I wasn't blown away quite as much as I was with the first two singles. But they were such highs that it would always be hard to compete. This was a game changer when it came out in 1985 and has stood up to the test of time. JAMC never consistently reached these heights again.
4.2 + I've revisited this record several times over the years, and have consistently left confused. There's hardly a music critic that doesn't fawn over it. Several things are immediately apparent and good: (a) the blown out guitars give a dry brightness, providing a fuzzy texture that swallows up most other contrasts in the middle, it makes me feel like standing in a desert at high noon with the sun illuminating everything in hot white with no shadow, (b) the songs themselves are simple, happy and poppy, almost 1950s bubblegum, which I suppose explains partly how they're able to keep the sound from going completely off-kilter, (c) it's impossible not to hear this album's fingerprints on "Loveless" and other shoegaze albums that would follow. Within the context of 1985, this album probably felt like a juggernaut and 35 years later it still sounds so fresh. For me, I feel like JAMC lean too heavily on the fuzzy, trebly, squealing guitar sound, and at turns I find it unpalatable. Songs like "In a Hole" hurt my ears. Still, I get why critically this album's a stunner and in small doses there is so much that speaks to me personally. It's a record that I currently admire more than love.
thrashing around on your guitar is shit. Play...more...slowly stupid rock cunts
Such a nice blend of noise and hook
First impression: I think Lost in Translation could be a top 5 all time movie for me. Sure it's touching, funny, understated, but the unsung hero is the soundtrack. Was enjoying but halfway through knew I was missing something...it was volume. Once the bluetooth speaker was off and the headphones were in, this album transformed. Rich reverb soaked wall of guitar. Simple poppy melodies. Perfect. Done. "A" record. P.S I think there's a musical family tree that seeds with the Ramones, branches to The Jesus & Mary Chain, leafs to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and ultimately dies and drifts to the ground with BRONCHO.
Ah, The Glasgow Beach Boys, love the abrasive use of Wall of Sound techniques to give that '60's feel with a grittier 80's post punk realism. Love "Just Like Honey" & "you Trip Me Up" A good choice for the list seeing as what the lads went on to do with Bobby G! I would have this in my collection
This album is expansive in a way that I wasn’t expecting from an 80s post punk/alternative band. The melodies were well developed and memorable as well. This album provided the groundwork for the shoegaze movement as well, which I’m a huge fan of. The guitars are over distorted and fuzzy but the vocals are clear. Though this album can be characterized as noise rock, it’s strong melodic tendencies elevate it to something else entirely.
Beautiful crafted 1950s and 1960s style classic pop songs slathered in epic walls of white noise. Cool as they come indie perfection. Must be played loud enough to make ears and eyes bleed.
Classic debut by the Reid brothers - their use of feedback crossed with 60s Spector girl groups was pioneering and was a major influence on noise rock and shoegaze. Future Primal Scream vocalist drums on the album. This album is not for the faint of heart - the feedback sometimes dominates the instrumentation so if you have sensitive ears, proceed with caution! The album opens with the classic Just Like Honey (used memorably in the film Lost in Translation) and also contains Never Understand and You Trip Me Up. Some versions include Some Candy Talking, another of their best songs, though this wasn't on the original tracklist. So if you like your pop songs noisy, turn this one up loud and enjoy!
I have always enjoyed music by artists who really know how to use noise. I don't mean simply being noisy or being loud, which anyone can do. I mean artists with an ability to take noise - notes, feedback, fuzz, distortion - and employ it as a musical instrument in its own right. On Psychocandy, The Jesus & Mary Chain really embraces noise in beautiful and unsettling ways, always pushing against what we think we should expect from music. A lot of artists have done this to varying degrees, but J&MC is beyond next level in their talent for it. This music is unabashedly noisy and somehow also gorgeously melodic when they want it to be. To be sure, this isn't meant to be an easy album. It's piercingly dissonant and probably has induced quite a few earaches over the past 35+ years. But the cumulative effect of what they've created really is like an inverse of the wall of sound idea. It's difficult, noisy to be sure, but surprisingly beautiful if you can just let the sound wash over you. I loved this album when it came out and am pleased to see that it has held up beautifully over time. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): The Hardest Walk, Just Like Honey, You Trip Me Up, Cut Dead, My Little Underground, Something's Wrong, Sowing Seeds, Taste of Cindy, Taste the Floor, Inside Me, Never Understand, In a Hole, It's So Hard, The Living End
I have already heard this a million times. Anyone who has never heard this before will probably rate it a 1, but back in 1986 this sounded like nothing I had ever heard before. My friends as I were obsessed with this album. Some hard bands were noisy, but this was just noise as music. But under the noise, there are genuine pop songs and hooks buried in there. This is the record all the showgazing bands of the 90s cited as an influence. In short, a masterpiece.
A pinnacle of noisy music that led the way for countless alternative rock subgenres through its employment of high feedback. These songs are creative and exciting, influenced mostly by post-punk contemporaries but also greatly by 60s bright sunshine pop music with its soft drawn-out vocal style and jangly instruments. But for sure their fusion with high feedback is modeled after the Velvet Underground. It's echoey and features subtle effects and instrumental shifts (very reminiscent of shoegaze) which makes for a fun and engaging listen. There are soft beautiful songs and harsh abrasive songs, and although I'm a fan of both styles, it sometimes catches me by surprise, like the sharp transition from "Cut Dead" to "In a Hole". Possibly my only complaint, but a wrong track order is not enough to tear apart my experience here. I'm a fan of nearly every song, which is surprising considering there are 14 of them. But they're short enough that you become intrigued by each concept before moving on to the next, yet none of them sound rushed. They're cute short pop songs full of creative ideas.
Already knew a few of these. Famously ripped off the Fall on a number of tracks, but I'm not sure those were the ones I particularly cared for.
Liked it a lot. Very vibey, easy to get lost in the distortion and reverb. Some highs, some lows, some inbetweens, good for fair weather and foul.
The first track of the album 'Just like honey' is the most played track of the album and this band all time, but it does no justice to this album and what it has to offer to the listener. The album was cohesive and the noise and monitor feedback sounds used as an extra layer and helping the album keep this cool and 'I don't care' sound. I really like it!
Very good, and clearly very influential, sometimes a bit much on the ears though.
Wow. It’s like a cross between the velvet underground and nirvana. Pretty unique. Their sound isn’t pleasant per se, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I haven’t really heard anything like this.
Extra special Scots band featuring a very young Bobby G.
Psychocandy announces itself with a bang with Just like Honey a psychedelic pop masterpiece. And there is some, but just a little, fall off from their. These guys turn up the distortion from time to time, but never such that the melody lines are lost. The more you listen the more get lost in their psychedelic jungle. This band and album countless trends to come; shoegaze and brit pop to name but two. Other highlights; Never Understand with its driving beat and distorted noisy guitars, The Hardest Walk harkening back to the best of the 60s pop and I just love the feel of Cut Dead. Great stuff. 4.5 stars
Texture can be a very powerful thing. Sometimes texture can even overpower the underlying structure. As in food, where you might enjoy the flavor of something, but if the texture is off-putting, it can ruin the whole experience. With that analogy in mind, I can see why this album causes some people to have strong reactions. I for one enjoy the combination of abrasive texture and bubblegum hooks. If they were purely abrasive through and through, it would simply be repellent, but, since they pair it with such sweet, vaguely nostalgic melodies, it becomes a really compelling mixture. I admire their ability to take these almost skeletal little ditties and build such dense atmospheres around them that they feel practically cavernous.
Melodies, noise and a sense of danger. This album is bloody brilliant. The Spector inspired production teases you with the melodies that are hiding away underneath all that feedback. Psycho Candy was responsible for the reverb on amps being fucked around with in teenage bedrooms throughout the mid 80's. Guilty. At the root of the record are some beautiful songs. The Mary Chain are classic rock 'n' roll: flicking the finger but tearful behind the shades.
This is not an album that I feel should be one of the albums anyone needs to hear before they die. I have nothing against noise rock or lo-fi, but this album is not one of the best examples of that. The band obviously takes their inspiration from punk and the sound of groups like Velvet Underground and such, so it's not like they were the first or the last, and this album is not the best example of it either.
It took a while to get through this. I've listened to Darklands a lot and enjoy it, though this is less moody and a lot more fuzz feedback. It it interesting to have it blended with pop harmonies, so I give them props even though it isn't an easy listen (i feels longer than 39 minutes).
not bad, but fairly bland to me. had a hard time really differentiating these tracks or getting into them on a larger level...could be bad headphones though
It was fine, not my taste
Fully turned distortion pedals gnash into a wall of dream pop soundscapes. Songs call back to Troggs, Kinks, and Turtles hits. Contrast of harsh fuzz and bubblegum pop feels like listening to a Phil Spector album while a dentist fills in cavities.
Thought something was wrong with my headphones
I wanted to like this but Christ, they included some unpleasant noise in there.
If you took Phil Spector’s wall of sound and replaced the lead instruments with wood shop machines you might get something like this. The opening beats to “Just Like Honey” sounded like a 60s girl group was about to sing, but instead we hear an ethereal male voice and a distorted, jangly guitar. I kind of liked “Just Like Honey,” but my ears started squinting almost immediately. “The Living End” continues on in this vein… I’m guessing the recording session went something like ‘DO YOU HAVE TO RUN THE TABLE SAW WHILE WE’RE TRYING TO RECORD OUR ALBUM?! Yes? Oh well fuck it go ahead and roll the tape.’ I’ve been known to enjoy distortion effects but I was not enjoying this much. I will say that listening on a good pair of headphones actually helped a little on a few of the songs. There are plenty of catchy hooks, beats and bass on this that I enjoyed (“Never Understand” was catchy - if someone would only turn off the grinder in the background). At times the distortion was more tolerable (“The Hardest Walk”, “Cut Dead”, “Sowing Seeds”), but I don’t see more of this in my future.
Like a more depressing Stone Roses. Nothing to get excited about and nothing stood out. I’m being made feel like the guitar playing is progressive and ground breaking. Am I so out of touch? No. It is the children who are wrong. I found myself quite agitated by the end of this album. It was a laboured slog trying to get thru it and the ambiguity around where one song ended and the other began really added to frustration. One of the worst yet.
"Just boost everything above 3k 10dB." - Producer (probably). Mix was tough to listen to, vocals were buried behind instruments and swimming in fx. Not a fun listening experience
Both gave me tinitus and sounded like i had tinitus. There is something about this style that i can't grasp.
Just reverb and droning voices that I though was never going to end.
This is fucking my ears in the best way possible. The Reid brothers. Legends.
Love this. Not sure it should work but it does and gets better with age
Much better. What a unique sound.
so fuzzy one of most beautiful songs (ever) has the refrain “I’ll be your plastic toilet” Perfection
Just like honeyyyyyyyy
really beautiful shoegaze a bit too screechy, I get that that’s the point but no matter what volume I put it at, it felt like I either couldn’t hear it or I was hurting my ears still super beautiful album, 9/10
Distorted dreampop done dirty
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dead good. i went to see JAMC play psychocandy about 10 years ago and it was the first night on the tour. they started off by playing some of the big uns off their other albums and they sounded awful, like as bad as any gig i've ever been to. it filled me with pure dread that i was probably not going to have the stamina to see it through and lose a much loved band in the process. however, as soon as they started the psychocandy section it was fucking perfect, sounded brilliant. don't know if they were sharking us or if they just hadn't played the other songs in ages but i'm yet to see another band go from so bad to so good in a single set.
Love this band and album so much! First discovered the Jesus and Mary Chain when they opened for NIN at a show I went to 5 or so years back. 80s hidden gem!
Weird and noisy, and uncomfortable to listen to at points, but also awesome and unique. An influence on loads of bands I love, and interesting as the first album by one of the great, but underappreciated, Scottish bands.
Thought this was going to be a 4 before listening to it again today, especially after Darklands proved to be plodding in places 35 years on. But this sounds just as sharp as it did when I bought it on release. A superb blend of the most basic elements, and I should listen to it more often.
One of my all time fave albums
Rated Dark Lands as 4 due to a somewhat unfortunate comparison it to this album. Influential album (think Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club etc). Strong pop songs, buried under a big dosis of dust. Due to all the 60s pop references, it has a bit similar feel as those Ramones songs except that Psychocandy is no punk rock.
Totally basis review as it’s a Scottish band but also love this album, love the distorted guitars the shoegaze sound and the vocals.
"Pyschocandy" is the debut album by the Scottish rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. It is considered a landmark recording of guitar and noise with a pop melody. That's a good description. It was also influential for the future genres of shoegaze and alternative rock. More on that later. The band was brothers Jim and William Reid (guitar, vocals), Douglas Hurt (bass) and Bobby Gillespie (drums and soon to be leader of Primal Scream). There were many bands listed as influences/influential including The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, The Stones, Einstürzende Neubauten but the band standing out for me is Suicide. The drum bang and those anthemic guitar chords strike up "Just Like Honey." Jim Reid almost whispering. Great backing vocals at the end by Karen Parker. An 80's alternative classic. Is it about the difficulty of going back to someone and admit you're wrong or oral sex. Let's say both. I have to admit the first song that got me into this band was hearing "The Hardest Walk" in the movie "Some Kind of Wonderful." Let's hear it for John Hughes in the 80's. It's more melodic pop: the best example of this on the album. A searing guitar solo. Obviously about walking away from someone. "Taste of Candy" gets us back to the echo, constant white noise, feedback and a simple beat. A darker tone probably about taking speed. A lot of these songs are about taking drugs or at least you could draw that conclusion. The first single "Never Understand" starts with feedback but goes to a pop melody. About drugs and self-abusive behavior. A screeching, white noise, feedback, long ending. Suicide in the studio. The second single "You Trip Me Up" continues with the feedback and a guitar sounding like a buzzsaw. It's about....well, you know. The album ends with the Suicide-esque "It's So Hard." Haunting and whispering vocals. Mechancal noises. More feedback. There's a lot to like about this album. Short songs, none longer than 14 minutes, get to the point. The mix of guitar being louder than the vocals almost making them indecipherable but more mysterious. There is an obvious direct line from Suicide to The Jesus and Mary Chain to the shoegaze genre. And I'm a big shoegaze fan. I like their subsequent albums but none reach "Psychocandy" heights.
OMG - takes me right back!
An absolute classic, beautiful noise rock that paved the path for so many great bands the following years.
So cool to hear the prototypes of my beloved grunge and garage rock. Love love alternative 80s.
Love it - sound like they definitely influenced Conor Oberst.
A bit of me actually, moody but enjoyable
Amazing album. Way before its time and obviously very influential to the alternative wave that would follow. Love every second
Got slightly repetitive and some of the guitar effects were a bit much but other than that it's a solid album
A good noise.
Psychocandy is the kind of album music critics tend to fawn over. Why? Because it's really basic rock 'n roll, so they don't have to talk about music or deal with any complexities. In Psychocandy's case, they can prattle on about the innovation of drowning the songs in echo and distortion and how brilliant it was to fuse Beach Boys melodies with Velvet Underground sonic violence. Even better, they can laud the album for setting up shoegaze, etc. The thing is, for once, I basically agree with the critics. These basic, basic songs, which would sound like nothing if they were recorded straight, are like a warm bath for me. I luxuriate in the swirl of noise. I wouldn't blame anyone for dismissing Psychocandy as style over substance and repetitious to boot, but to me, for what they're going for, it would be hard to improve on. One last point: this came out in 1985, arguably the nadir of Anglo music, so Psychocandy gets points simply for not sucking.
Kick. Kick-kick. Snare. If it ain't broke then don't fix it.
Every song sounds like a variation of the 5 star opener 'just like honey' and that's fine by me.
Very good, but sometimes a bit too abrasive and distortion-y, even for me.
Jedna od definicija noise popa. Definitivno ako se ikad želi ući u taj žanr, ovaj će se album uvijek morat proć.
Edgy and raw, with some excellent riffs
Powerpop + distortion = this. Surprised me in a good way, though there were a couple of tracks I'd like to permanently delete. Best track: Some Candy Talking
Killer mix of noise and pop music. It's wild hearing the influence of this album on such a diverse range of later music too.
I've long held that Jesus and Mary Chain songs mostly sound the same, and that is the case for this album. However, it's a great sound, and it's not grating over a whole album. And that sound is really the epitome of Gen X cool :)
Distortion. Extreme distortion. And, at times, heavy use of reverb. But some of the melodies are really nice. Standout: Just Like Honey. 3.5/5
If you don’t like this, idk what to say, man. 4.0
Noisy post-punk songs that reveal in the dark moodiness. What makes this album distinctly unique is the sort of proto-shoegaze sound that would influence the greats like My Bloody Valentine. The large, swooping sounds from The Jesus and Mary Chain are undeniable, using reverb and distortion to wield bizarre songs of lust, adrenaline, and a myriad of other fleeting feelings. Fantastic, in a word.
Already listened to it
Amazing! Love the screeching, nearly unlistenable, table saw sounding guitar that appears every now and then. A delightfully surreal atmosphere throughout. Very nearly 5 stars for me.
Dirty but excellent!
This album was really influential for me. IO started listening to Triple J about the time this came out, and so thought this was kind of normal. Later, I discovered it was not. The J&MC really picked up on the noise factor from the Velvet Underground (along with other influences, like the Beach Boys, girls groups, Suicide, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Phil Spector) to create a "high IQ, low technqiue" (to quote Lour Reed's NYT obit) pop musique. Not easy listening, but I like that. I like that a lot.
I used to be fairly one note with my music tastes and I got recommended this band (as I was trying to find something new to me) I only listened to like one song from them and forgotten them forever fast forward just over a year or so and here I am trying to review a full length album, day 107 let’s go… The album opens with Just like honey, this song is amazing like an awesome shoegazey march! The living end is a messy track sounding like they’re in a storm of screeching nonsense didn’t like this track much. I like taste the floor, the guitars are a little too distorted for me but still a great song in there. The hardest walk isn’t too overpowering in distortion and the vocals are louder in the mix (which I prefer for this band) yeah it’s nice. Cut dead isn’t what I thought it would be it’s just nice and calm, just what the album needs. In a hole is a good example of what a song can sound like all distorted/messy and still sound great! Taste of Cindy is a shortie but it’s not a bad song I actually quite enjoy this one. ( Technically not on the album) some candy talking is a must listen the best song on the album! We get a proper rocker with Never understand, the song is a little too screechy with the guitars but it’s still enjoyable. Inside Me has probably the best bass line on the album and the song is great but there’s too much extra noise. I’am a bit skeptical about the lyrics on sowing seeds ( especially for the time that it was made as if the album was modern you could see it as an attack on apple I guess) but it’s cool! My little underground is cool, has the usual issues but it’s cool. You trip me up is a banger yeah screechy but a banger! The penultimate track ( somethings wrong) is the longest track on the album and yeah one of the albums best! The album closes with with it’s so hard, this song is odd but not dreadful. There’s almost slightly too much screech for me but hey the songs were still amazing!
Interesting. Heard about this band a lot as a kid but never actually listen. Kind of remind me on Ministry minus the metal.
I’m almost giving it a five. It probably is a four, but just like honey is so good. Sucker for anything with a wall of noise layer. I really like that it’s the vocal style of more the the synth heavy stuff but then more guitar heavy musically so it felt more grounded and focused. It felt kind of like two different albums mixed together with some of the punk stuff
I like that they are Scottish. And I could listen to a few songs, but not the whole album at once. It doesn't feel punk enough, but I enjoyed it. Favorites: - In a Hole - The Hardest Walk
Starts off pretty mellow. So much distortion... kind of reminds me of a Rob Zombie/The Clash mashup. "In A Hole" - I though my HomePod was broken- nope just a very mean distortion pedal haha
The Jesus and Mary and Alice in Chains.... All of the Jesus bands run together. Am I the only one that has this problem? I think there was an article in an old Interview Magazine that tried capturing all of the bands that used the word 'Jesus' in their band name. The Jesus Lizard MC 900 Foot Jesus Jesus Jones Jesus and Mary Chain which I sometimes get mixed up with Alice in Chains. I can tolerate their music only in small doses, but I'm not a fan of Alice in Chains and have somehow always equated the two. Alice in Chains is super dated and doesn't translate to any era except for the Soundgarden-Seattle-garbage of the '90s. Though Jesus and Mary Chain blossomed during that same time they transcend different eras of music and time. Though this album is dated, it's still interesting to listen to. I'm a big fan of BRMC and I hear that a lot in this album and specifically on The Living End. The drone-y shoegaze-y vibes bleed from this album and the fuzzy reverb / feedback effects create an interesting feeling. It's almost as if they've figured out how to get time to just stand still. Just Like Honey is great, Some Candy Talking is too. There's a lot of distortion and feedback over some mellow singing / talking that creates an interesting juxtaposition. I can understand how some people would absolutely hate this and complain that all songs sound alike, but if you've got something good the last thing you'd do is change to something different.
I’ve complained that albums on this list have one song that is essential and the rest are pretty forgettable. This is on where the first track is undeniable and gives the whole album enough power to be called essential, even if the rest of it is not great. I can appreciate Psychocandy for the sound they pioneered, mostly for the other bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club who went on to make better music.
Kind of impressed by this, especially the fact that this sound existed in the mid-80's. It instantly made me think of The Raveonettes, who wouldn't form for another 15+ years. Unfortunately, I find it exhausting, but I enjoyed the first half of the album before my ears wore out.
The Jesus and Mary Chain from the early 90's didn't interest me all that much. Psychocandy is different. I won't say I love this album, but I was surprised how thoroughly enjoyable it was to listen to. I played it twice. I know a lot of people complain about the noise of it all, but I found it to be comforting. I can't describe exactly how it makes me feel, but something like nostalgic, but without that thing to feel nostalgic about. I don't know, this was a good one.
No wonder its called one of the albums that pioneered the shoegaze movement. I can see the impact left by them on the upcoming bands after them. However, the main problem in this album is the use heavily distorted sound that can really interfere with my listening session. I had to skip some songs just because i cant handle the amount of screeching. But it is still an interesting album though.
“I sure love pop, but I just can not stand the sugarcoated productions.” Jesus Christ and his mother Mary, are you in luck!
The Jesus And Mary Chain are obviously an incredibly influential group. Their debut, filled with oppy noise, laid the groundwork for the shoegaze pandemic of the 90's. 'The Hardest Walk' is a prime example of this. Psychocandy is such a fitting title, because the whole thing is basically sugar sweet melodies drenched in noise and dissonance - starting with the terrific opener 'Just Like Honey'. At times, the noise takes on a too dominant role, as on the duo of 'In a Hole' + 'Taste of Cindy', and although the balance is occasionally perfect ('Sowing Seeds'), it seems to me that the group hadn't quite found the balance between noise and melody that they did on Darklands.
psyco-grangee but a little difficult to listen
Unplugged amp core but not necessarily bad. 7/10
some of it just felt like noise but it had a really earnest energy that i liked, especially in the back half. 7/10