The Jesus and Mary Chain’s third studio album, Automatic, turned 33 today!
Released under Blanco y Negro in 1989, although released to generally poor reviews at the time (with the aforementioned synthesised drums and bass being the biggest point of contention), Automatic contains “Blues from a Gun”, their most successful single in America up to that point, and “Head On” (later covered by Pixies).
Critical and fan reception has improved with the passage of time. Pitchfork wrote in 2006 that “conventional wisdom wrongly calls [Automatic] the dud” of the band’s discography, but that in hindsight the album “feels like a career peak” and has been a fan favourite.
I bought this album (in cassette format) way back in the late 80s (or was it early 90s?) without knowing who they were. Didn’t really know what shoegaze/noise rock/post-punk was. Couldn’t find any proper info about them due to, at the time, this country was still quite barbaric heheh. But I fell in love since the very beginning. I found them kinda power pop, quite easy listening, but with heavy distortion, abrasive yet noisy. Very interesting.
The video above via magus26/YouTube, JAMC performing “Head On” on a UK TV show in 1989.
Happy 33rd anniversary, Automatic! Head on, gimme hell, and blues from a gun!
Read also THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN: PSYCHOCANDY.
Featured image via Andrew Catlin.