The Jesus and Mary Chain celebrates ‘Psychocandy’ in style

The Jesus and Mary Chain
Erik Kabik Photography/MediaPunch
Jason Harris

Four and a half stars

The Jesus and Mary Chain August 16, Brooklyn Bowl.

Sunday night at Brooklyn Bowl, as both stage and audience were bathed in swaths of blue and red, The Jesus and Mary Chain proved that some things, though created in a specific time, remain timeless. Playing a seven-song set of choice tunes followed by a second set of seminal debut album Psychocandy in full, JAMC created a full-circle evening for fans, perhaps the height of this second incarnation of the Scottish college-rock group.

The Jesus and Mary Chain guitarist William Reid performs at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas.

The Jesus and Mary Chain guitarist William Reid performs at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas.

“April Skies” and “Head On,” two of the band’s poppiest numbers, set the tone wonderfully for the evening to come. Later in set one, Stooges-style distortion was in full effect during “Reverence.” And “Some Candy Talking” is such a good song about taking illicit drugs, if you told a judge it motivated you to try bad stuff, he’d almost have to let you off with a slap on the wrist.

The noise-rock masterpiece Psychocandy, now 30 years old, held up beyond expectations. Opener “Just Like Honey” is a perfect pop song. “Sowing Seeds” is as brooding as ever. And “Cut Dead” is such an ideal mixtape cut, it makes me even sadder mixtapes no longer exist.

The songs were great when they came out, but what makes them so special live is how ridiculously good the band sounds today. Jim Reid’s voice is in pristine condition, seemingly unchanged since the ’80s. Brother William Reid explores space with his fuzzy guitar licks in a way that makes you wonder what he knows that other guitarists don’t. The five musicians play with such controlled chaos, they continue to prove why they are revered as the peak of their genre.

Such beautiful noise.

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