The Jesus & Mary Chain - Damage and Joy: the best album of their fractious career

Damage and Joy
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Artist: The Jesus & Mary Chain
Genre: Alternative
Label: Artificial Plastic/Warner Music

Seriously, who would have thought that with their 60s approaching, the Scottish brothers William and Jim Reid would deliver the best album of their fractious career?

Thirty years after their hugely influential debut album Psychocandy (Phil Spector and Velvet Underground scrubbed silly with a toxic-tipped wire brush), the pair teamed up for anniversary dates. So far, so usual. What wasn't factored in, however, was how good the new-ish music (several songs have been available elsewhere in the interim period) would be.

Yet the brothers' first album in almost 20 years rings with the kind of collective experience that can only arrive with a life having been lived, with class songs such as War on Peace, Song for a Secret, The Two of Us and Amputation further buffing an already glistening (if inherently gritty) back catalogue.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture