THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN: Honey’s Dead.

20 08 2016

jesus_and_mary_chain-777x512

“I can’t get enough of you
God gave me strength and I gave it to you
I’ve got sticks in my spine but what can I do
I can never never never get enough of you.”

 

I’m probably a rubbish fan of The Jesus And Mary Chain because for as long as I can remember, Darklands and Psychocandy have been the two records I have constantly played and always related to. The amount of sentimental value I hold towards those two records is beyond an explanation. There’s one person who understands it, and will only ever understand it. I don’t know what I would do without those two records, and them. However, there is obviously more to TJAMC than just these two records- I own them, I just never gave them as much attention as I should. I’m going to start with Honey’s Dead.

Honey’s Dead opens with Reverence, a song that held a wealth of controversy in it due to its lyrics. If you’re searching to be offended, you’ll be offended. Sure the lyrics are dark but you’re not going to get sunshine and rainbows with TJAMC are you? I wouldn’t want to ever hear that, from anyone. Their songs like Nick Cave, touched on themes of lust and love in a way I want to hear and can relate to regardless of how brooding and heavy it may sound. The title of the record references the end of the sound they were known for previously, but I’ve learnt from each record is that they all sound completely different. I always toy with what my favourite record by them is, and right now I’m in favour of Darklands. Tomorrow it could easily be Honey’s Dead. I love the artwork to Honey’s Dead and how beautifully morose the front cover is. Even if I wasn’t aware of TJAMC the cover alone would lure me in.

I love the way Jim conveys such desperation and pleading in his voice in a lot of the songs. It’s done in a way that not many can do without sounding so clingy and overbearing. He does it in a way that releases this sense of pain that smacks you right in the gut. At times it overwhelms you because of how strong and intense it is, but nothing else can come close to it. I picked this up especially on Reverence and Teenage Lust.

There are a couple of songs on Honey’s Dead that have the same sentimental value to me as the likes of You Trip Me Up and April Skies have. Good For My Soul and I Can’t Get Enough are the kind of love songs I can relate to, and fully appreciate. The lyrics to both are extremely open and show this vulnerable side to the band that I have always adored, and I think that’s what drew my to them in the first place. Honey’s Dead is not that much of heavy record, but the weight is in the vocals and to an extent maybe that could be said for their previous records. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Or so they say.  Besides, I just find this from Good For Soul to be one of the most beautiful lines I’ve ever heard: “She can take the world on another journey into her soul.” When you adore someone greatly, you’ll see yourself in this song.

Sundown is one of those songs you play when everything seems a bit wrong and tormented. The sorrow in William’s voice is heavy and easy to empathise with, and it will make you want to leave where you are in the search of something better for your soul. Sooner or later, we are pushed to do so. Maybe it isn’t so much about having guts but enough patience to see it through. It’s the longest song on Honey’s Dead and I find it to be the one I like to hit repeat on before I carry on with the remainder of the record.

There’s a handful of bands I love that I thought I always had a solid favourite song and record by, and I always thought that The Jesus And Mary Chain were one of them. But after delving into Honey’s Dead more, I’ve realised it isn’t the case/ Maybe I’ll never be able to choose, maybe I don’t even need to. I’m content with them being one of the most important bands to me and a band that have been a massive lifeline for me.





NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS: The Boatman’s Call.

26 06 2016

the-boatmans-call1-768x768

 

“Through every word that I speak
And every thing I know
There is hand that protects me
And I do love her so.”

 

Where I described everything about love, lust and all in between on Let Love In- I seemed to have reserved some of that for The Boatman’s Call. A record that pours out devotion and desire. Two things you need to keep anything alive. The Boatman’s Call is a record that I’d not given that much attention to. I love Nick Cave, that’s so obvious. And for the most part I do find myself swayed to anything pre- Murder Ballads. I’d found it hard to love anything as much as the records pre-1997, but obvious that’s a really lame stance to take and this is me rectifying it to myself. This doesn’t mean I don’t like or haven’t listened to anything after, far from it. I just have more of a connection with older records. Hey, if I can learn to like olives then I’m pretty sure I can do this.

Going back on my words, The Boatman’s Call is as great as Let Love In. The Boatman’s Call opens with the greatest love song of all time- Into My Arms. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like this song or has never quoted it at someone they love. Or even thought of the song when in the presence of the person they love. It’s just a stunning declaration of unconditional love, and when you feel that way about someone or something you cling onto it. Fight off anyone who ever tries to take it from you. It’s the kind of love song that’s part Ted Hughes, part Poe; “But I believe in love. And I know that you do too. And I believe in some kind of path. That we can walk down, me and you.” But it is every single part Nick Cave, from beginning to end.

By no means am I religious, and if I was I’d keep those views to myself- but I love the way in which Nick Cave links in religious imagery in his words. Example already above in Into My Arms- but the rest of this record, and others have heavy religious imagery flowing throughout them. It’s the way he does it that makes you curious and wonder if there is anything there. Maybe there is. There probably is, so believe in whatever the hell you want and just be kind to each other. That’s how it should be. I love this line from Brompton Oratory: “No God up in the sky, no devil beneath the sea.  Could do the job that you did, baby. Of bringing me to my knees.” I had another in mind, but this one just etched its way into my brain.

Where Into My Arms describes wanting to protect and to forever love the one you want, Are You The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? just sums up finding someone that you’re evidently meant to be with, and the realisation hits you. With nothing or no one getting in the way of it. Things take time, and Are You The One just describes all of the waiting so perfectly. Again, I wish I could write something like this. “I think of you in motion and just how close you are getting. And how every little thing anticipates you. All down my veins my heart-strings call, are you the one that I’ve been waiting for?”

The Boatman’s Call is the record that shifts Nick away from his more rowdy and loud sound, although it’s clear he has still flirted with that sound more often than not. The songs on The Boatman’s Call are gentle, loving and dark. Have I just described myself? Every single time I listen to him, I just find new words to love, a different verse to be taken aback by. Everything he does and has ever done just sums up what I’m feeling at a certain point. The vast majority of his songs hold such sentimental value, I don’t even know how to use my own words.

As I listen to Idiot Prayer, I can’t help but revert to being 9/10 years old and carrying this anger towards my dad for dying. Does the anger fade? A little. Do you get over it? No, you develop ways to hide your feelings. Anyway, irrespective of my inability to know what to do, I’ve found something in this verse: “If you’re in Heaven then you’ll forgive me, dear. Because that’s what they do up there. If you’re in Hell, then what can I say, you probably deserved in anyway. I guess I’m gonna find out any day. For we’ll meet again, and there’ll be Hell to pay.” He didn’t deserve it, for the record. It’s just a lyric. I think it’s taken me 21 years to find something to relate to regarding this.

Far From Me is such a painful song, that’s full of loss and torment. There’s parts of it that can reduce the toughest to tears. It’s hard to listen to, but I reckon most can identify and find comfort in: “You told me you’d stick by me. Through the thick and through the thin. Those were your very words, my fair-weather friend.” There’s other parts of the song that are equally as brutal as this, but I think that one just speaks for itself. It’s a brilliant “fuck you”, and lord knows that there are some worthy of it.

The record ends with Green Eyes, which the opening line is taken from the gorgeous Sonnet 18 by Louise Labé (read her work) : “Kiss me again, rekiss me and kiss me.” A stunning way to close the record, and is easily one of the best songs on The Boatman’s Call. Those green eyes….

Although The Boatman’s Call sees Nick taking himself away from previous sounds, that atmosphere in his lyrics are still there. They’ve always been there and I highly doubt that they will ever go away. If anything, as stripped back The Boatman’s Call is, it just shows how powerful a write he is- in every single way. He can take you to this world that makes you feel so safe, and so at ease with how you feel. It’s one of those records you play, and you realise again and again why you love him, and why words are so important. This record says all you want and wish to say- he just got there first.