Musically, culturally and in terms of sheer attitude, the Jesus and Mary Chain stand alone. Their seminal debut album Psychocandy would change the course of popular music, and their iconic blend of psychotic white noise and darkly surreal lyrics that presaged the shoegaze movement continues to enchant and confound.
Howe’s book is a great timeline of the band, from their youth in East Kilbride through to their split and reunion with a look to the future. There’s an abundance of anecdotes on their dour nature, short shows, interview snips, brotherly tensions, booze and drugs and generally hating everyone. And it’s just good. It’s balanced (or, as balanced as it could be when one of the Reid brothers chose not to take part) and gives many sides to same stories – particular highlights come with Murray, their drummer, who was clearly not on the same page on many levels, but got the job nonetheless.
Can’t imagine there being another book with such input from those on the ride. Just a generally unpredictable and destructive journey, etched to the page with wit and frankness. Fun, fucked up and highly recommended for JAMC fans.