The Jesus And Mary Chain - Automatic Album

Artist: The Jesus and Mary Chain

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  • slowride

    So Automatic is the second/middle album in what is, for me, the Jesus And Mary Chain's grand trilogy, from 1989 to 1992, beginning with DarkLands and ending, appropriately enough, with Honey's Dead. This album is the most straight forward, poppy of the Jesus And Mary Chain's career. Most of the tracks on this album sound sort of similar, so the album flows from one track to the next.
    This is the first album by the JAMC that I ever purchased. I remember picking it up at a county fair, in a crate of used tape cassettes, back in 1991. I thought the name (JAMC) was interesting, and I think I had vaguely heard something about them being cool, on college radio, or on some alternative rock program. I remember, I also purchased a WrathChild America cassette at the same time (that album was not quite as memorable--haha). At the time, I was primarily a metal head, so I was proud of myself for expanding my horizons a bit. But, really, Automatic is a pretty straight forward, rock album (with a pop sheen to it).
    SunRay is a short noise soundscape. So I guess that's the one unconventional track. Drop is a really sparse, quiet little acoustic (I think) ditty. Halfway To Crazy is also pretty light.
    Standout tracks for me are the heavier, more aggressive Gimme Hell, and the three super groovy tunes, Between Planets, Blues From A Gun, and Coast To Coast. Then there's the druggy (references and euphemisms of) UV Ray and Here Comes Alice. There's a lot of references to junk, itching, shaking, fever, and soda pop all over this album. Her Way Of Praying, Take It, and Head On (later that year, or the next, covered by the Pixies) are both pretty cool and catchy tunes.
    So 9 out of the 12 tracks here are really cool, and the remaining three are a noisescape and two lighter tracks, that don't offend the listener. This is, overall, a pretty strong effort. It's not quite as good as the stellar DarkLands or the chock full of hits, Honey's Dead, but it's a strong, solid record of guitar rock; dirty, druggy, fuzzy (there's a smattering of reverb, feedback, and even some drum machine loops) rock with a bubblegum pink pop sheen. A

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