The Jesus and Mary Chain: Glasgow Eyes (Fuzz Club)

Indie rock icons return with synth steeped eighth album

Released Mar 22nd, 2024 via Fuzz Club / By Richard Lewis
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Glasgow Eyes (Fuzz Club) Forty years since they first terrorised eardrums with scabrous debut single Upside Down, indie rock pathfinders The Jesus And Mary Chain return for the second album of their post split run.

Played and produced in its entitely by Jim and William Reid, the long standing influence of NYC iconoclasts Suicide on the Mary Chain coming to the fore. Dominated by synths and drum machines, Glasgow Eyes serves as an electronic ounterpoint to 1994s underrated unplugged set Stoned And Dethroned.

Anchored by insectoid synths and an ominous bassline, lead single jamcod recalls the Reids' infamous onstage bust up in LA in 1998, which saw the group disband split up for nine years. Based in the US for over a decade, William's East Kilbride brogue is undimmed on American Born and Mediterranean X Film, the latter evoking a darker hued Air, who they shared celluloid with on the landmark Lost In Translation OST.

Venturing into pop mode - the band's idiosyncratic version of the form that is - Girl 71 is a gloriously earworm-y moment, recalling the earbalm melodies of Just Like Honey as Jim's vocals are paired with his partner Rachel Conti. Founded on an I Love Rock N’ Roll style riff, The Eagles and the Beatles is a joy: “I’ve been rolling with the Stones, Mick and Keith and Brian Jones” paying homage to the aforementioned plus Dylan, The Small Faces and the Pistols. Underscored by sitar patinas, Second of June is similarly melodic.

A lack of focus creeps in elsewhere as Pure Poor and Chemical Animal outstay their welcome while lenghty closer Hey Lou Reid comes across as more of a studio jam than a fully formed song. Not quite as strong as its predecessor 2017s superlative Damage and Joy, the disc nevertheless shows that the Mary Chain's pupils are still trained on the horizon. 4/5