From the moment I had begun listening to The Jesus & Mary Chain’s 1989 record Automatic, I was able to look at rock `n’ roll in a different light. My first experience listening to this album, an album that epitomized the rock `n’ roll spirit, was a pivotal moment in shaping how I heard music.
At the time, my friend Bobby’s house was two blocks down from mine. And Bobby had an older brother who had lived in Japan for years. His brother had purchased an endless collection of music while he was living over there. When he returned, Bobby and I would listen to all of these new bands that we weren’t familiar with, but had discovered, thanks to that brother of his. Among the sea of fresh and unfamiliar CDs, and records, I found The Jesus & Mary Chain’s album Automatic. And in an instant, I had fallen in love with them. Their heavily distorted guitars, dreamy lyrics and Jim Reid’s super-cool voice were what got me.
I had been on a long, intense engagement listening mostly to the Smiths and Tom Waits, at the time. Yet, once I heard Automatic‘s standout songs like the infectious single “Head On” and three-chord raveup “Between Planets,” I realized something. I thought I had previously been open to new musical artists and ideas by listening to new music, practically everyday. But I never let myself really enjoy it. I didn’t think that anything was cooler than the stuff I knew and loved already. Yes, I, too, had fallen victim to the hipper-than-thou trap of alienating myself from new sounds and concepts by being caught up in my own biases and preconceptions.
Even still today I fight the musical snobbery, but I try to push through it, and really try to appreciate music that is new, and different. If I don’t, I might miss out on a band as awesome and as life changing as The Jesus & Mary Chain.
Similar Albums/Albums Influenced:
The Pixies – Trompe Le Monde
Medicine – The Buried Life
The Raveonettes – Chain Gang of Love