“Talking fast on the edge of nothing
I would break my back for you.”
It’s hard to pick a favourite album/song by your favourite band, because you love them so much it just seems impossible. It’s also a really good excuse to just sit and listen to them constantly. I’ve always been sure of my favourite record of all time, but song I struggle with. I can change my mind instantly. Just when I think I know, I’m reminded of something else. I would write about Psychocandy but I’m saving that for 18th November (2 days before I finally see TJAMC live.)
Last night I worked out how much money I’ve spent on November’s Psychocandy shows. I’m not ashamed or anything like that. Whatever money I have left over goes on something music related, so I might as well spend it on something that is as special as these upcoming shows. I was going 3 times, but one of the London dates clashes with something else. I think I’ve found a good home for my ticket. So it’s just one London and one Manchester date. If I had more money I would have gone to Glasgow, pretty sure those shows will be the most and probably most special.
Anyway, this isn’t about Psychocandy.
I’ve been listening to Darklands a lot recently, and I realised the worth and meaning of the lyrics on that record to me. They are equally as impressive and as moving as those on Psychocandy but with a lot less reverb. In short, you can hear Jim and William’s voices clearly. I do miss the sheer noise and brutality that’s all over Psychocandy. The lyrics are vulnerable on Psychocandy, but Darklands has that. Maybe it has it more, I can’t make that call. All I know is that it is a brilliant second record.
April Skies is the one song by TJAMC that hits harder than the rest. All the significance it has to me is way too personal to even try write down, and if I tried I would just sound really stupid. You don’t need to read it and I don’t think I need to be so open. There’s just no need. But I can appreciate the lyrics with slight distance from what it means to me. April Skies has one of my favourite lines of all time, and a line that just sums up why I love the song so much. You know what it’s like, you hear a song and you’re convinced it was written for you, for a certain point in your life that will always smack you in the face when you listen to it. The line: “I take my aim and I fake my words. I’m just your long time curse” I adore that line to the point where I would happily have it tattooed on me. Although I probably wouldn’t be up for discussing why that line. Their lyrics was always the reason as to why I became a fan of The Jesus And Mary Chain. I really can’t remember anything else. I don’t know how old I was, where I was or why it happened. Sometimes you just don’t need to know. Maybe I was just another lost soul who got saved by a band. For better and for worse, The Jesus And Mary Chain have been my “go-to” band. It’s not always Morrissey you know! (Usually is, but shush.) There’s another line from the song towards the end that’s really important but it’ll just end up turning into a piece about April Skies, and I don’t think I have the words for that.
Darklands I feel is massively underrated in some respects. Sometimes a band/singers second record is always shadowed by just how phenomenal their first one is, but TJAMC managed to create something different but equally as important. All of their records are important, but I’m starting to hear things in Darklands that I’ve not heard before. I really paid attention to just how beautiful and brilliantly romantic About You is. It is a gorgeous love song that anyone should be honoured to be thought of when hearing this. TJAMC wrote some of the best love songs ever. They’re the best because they aren’t typical, they are sickly love songs that make you want to puke up your breakfast. Those kind don’t sit well with me at all, they make me feel uneasy. They don’t feel real and they don’t sound heartfelt. TJAMC put it all into their music, and the lyrics are evidence of that. They wrote the kind of songs I wish I could.
Nine Million Rainy Days is such a sombre song. If you read the lyrics it reads like some old Gothic love poem from way back when. It brings up these ideals and nightmares in your head. You remember the things you maybe should have forgotten. But you cling, because that’s just the kind of person you are. There’s really no shame in it. “And all my time in Hell was spent with you.” It’s just a stunning and brutally honest line.
There is that underlying dark and less obvious brutal sound to Darklands but everything about it is so open. The lyrics are gentle and the way they are sung just makes them hit your gut harder and quicker than most. Their lust/love driven songs are so easy to relate to, or maybe it is just how my brain is wired. It is the perfect record to follow Psychocandy. I can’t imagine my life without these two records, I really can’t. I once found a few 7″ singles from Darklands in a market and just bought them all. They were about £2 each, I think I gave one away- for sentimental reasons, obviously. Always the way. Darklands is a record to lose everything to, mentally. Physically, you lose it to Psychocandy but mentally it has to be to Darklands. Maybe they’ll do a 30 year anniversary tour for that too, hopefully.
I love the lyrics to all the songs and how they all seem to have that darker side of love flowing through them. You do everything for one, and for what exactly? It’s alright because look at the songs that come from it. It can be unrequited, it can be a pain in the arse, it can abandon you, it can be there in ways you weren’t sure of- but it is there. Darklands is just one of those records that when you listen to it, for days and days it will be the only thing you listen to. I’m not sure how many times I’ve played it recently but each time feels like the first time I ever heard it. I’ll never love a band as much as I love TJAMC, they are my one and only. There is something about them that just means more than most, and I’m pretty sure Darklands fully justifies why.