Monday, July 25, 2011

Cover Versions – The Jesus and Mary Chain

As a die-hard Jesus and Mary Chain fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity presented by this one: a new quasi-electronic shoe gaze cover of the JAMC track “Teenage Lust” originally released on the “Honey’s Dead” album.

The group performing the cover in question is newcomers Les Demoniaques, who are comprised of Kristin Gundred of the Dum Dum Girls and Tamaryn. The release comes as a one sided post card sized flexi disc from True Panther Sounds and available from Kompakt , if not sold out. An interesting feature of the track is that the all-female group essentially reclaims the originals slightly misogynistic rock stance to sex in a disembodied female form.

JAMC are of course no strangers to cover versions themselves, having released a mountain of them as B-sides and more throughout their career. One surprise is that perhaps there haven’t been more covers of JAMC tracks themselves over the years.

Earlier this year there appeared a vinyl-only unofficial JAMC release entitled “Send Me Away – Early Demos” which was a fascinating collection of primitive renditions of JAMC tracks. Some of these have appeared before, such as on the 4CD set “The Power of Negative Thinking”, but most were previously unreleased. Perhaps the significance of the album is a clearer-than-ever snap shot of the band’s sound in development, as here their influences are still coming together, such that many tracks wear their influence on their sleeve as a single origin, particularly punk rock, before they became awash with 50s and 60s Americana and essentially fused together into the JAMC sound.

One of their most important and overlooked demos is the “On the Wall” Portastudio version that appeared on the original “Darklands” single and the “Barbed Wire Kisses” compilation. There is nothing in their catalogue that sounds similar to this and with its proto-techno beats and its ringing, repetitive and hypnotic guitar it feels like a whole other band that could have come from this sound, a band with eyes on the dancefloor. And of course its feedback-drenched rain finale is sublime.

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