1985 as a year in music is turning out to be much more influential than I originally thought. From the unique sounds of Tom Waits to now the shoegazing/noisepop sounds of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Both these artists sounded unlike anything else from the middle of the decade. The best way to describe Psychocandy is a combination of catchy pop songs, done in a noisy garage rock style and recorded in an empty, echo filled warehouse. The Reid brothers combine industrial, garage rock and 60’s pop to create something new and exciting. I first listened to Psychocandy about ten years ago. I fell in love with Just Like Candy after discovering it in the film Lost In Translation. The song was the perfect addition to the film’s final scene. I wanted to see what else this group had up their sleeve. I got lost in all the feedback and reverb and walked away disappointed. The songs all sounded the same after a few minutes. The real problem was that I just hadn’t been exposed to the style of music that this influential band created. So many amazing bands came after the Jesus and Mary Chain and I can’t imagine today’s indie rock without a slight nod to what Jim and William Reid created. Alt rock probably would be at least a little different sounding without this album’s influence. Listening to it 10 years on, I fell in love. I really was able to grasp what they were going for. In fact, I probably loved Psychocandy more now because of the fact that I got into Husker Du’s music about 5 years ago. Both groups are similar in their use of loud guitars, feedback, distortion and catchy poppy songs. The interesting thing is that The Jesus and Mary Chain would abandon this sound almost entirely for their follow-up, Darklands. It is probably because their drummer, Bobby Gillespie (later became frontman of Primal Scream), left after the release of Psychocandy. Kind of hard to hear a drum machine over reverb, feedback and loud guitars. 😀 Now that I’ve listened to Psychocandy, I can’t wait to hear the albums from the other artists influenced by this sound on the list.
Other highlights include: The Living End, Taste the Floor, Cut Dead, Taste of Cindy, Never Understand, Sowing Seeds, You Trip Me Up and Something’s Wrong.
Overall, I give Psychocandy, 5 out of 5.
Next: Low-Life by New Order