Author(s): Paula Mejia
The Jesus and Mary Chain's swooning debut Psychocandy seared through the underground and through the pop charts, shifting the role of noise within pop music forever. Post-punk and pro-confusion, Psychocandy became the sound of a generation poised on the brink of revolution, establishing Creation Records as a tastemaking entity in the process. The Scottish band's notorious live performances were both punishingly loud and riot-spurring, inevitably acting as socio-political commentary on tensions emergent in mid-1980s Britain. Through caustic clangs and feedback channeling the rage of the working-class who'd had enough, Psychocandy gestures toward the perverse pleasure in having your eardrums exploded and loudness as a politics within itself. Yet Psychocandy's blackened candy heart center - calling out to phantoms Candy and Honey with an unsettling charm - makes it a pop album to the core, and not unlike the sugarcoated sounds the Ronettes became famous for in the 1960s. The Jesus and Mary Chain expertly carved out a place where depravity and sweetness entwined, emerging from the isolating underground of suburban Scotland grasping the distinct sound of a generation, apathetic and uncertain. The irresistible Psychocandy emerged as a clairvoyant account of struggle and sweetness that still causes us to grapple with pop music's relation to ourselves.
The Jesus and Mary Chain's swooning debut Psychocandy seared through the underground and to the top of the pop charts, shifting the role of noise within pop music forever.
Paula Mejia is a writer, journalist and critic. Her work has appeared in The Criterion Collection, NPR, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and other publications.
Introduction: Taste the Floor Chapter One: Never Understand Chapter Two: Just Like Honey Chapter Three: In a Hole Chapter Four: Sowing Seeds Chapter Five: Taste of Cindy Chapter Six: Some Candy Talking Chapter Seven: My Little Underground Chapter Eight: The Living End Chapter Nine: Cut Dead Chapter Ten: Inside Me Chapter Eleven: It's So Hard Chapter Twelve: Something's Wrong Chapter Thirteen: The Hardest Walk Chapter Fourteen: You Trip Me Up