Jesus And Mary Chain
Barbed Wire Kisses (B-sides And More)1972
IF 19 LP
The Jesus and Mary Chain released Barbed Wire Kisses (B-Sides and More) in 1988, just five years into their existence. The album is an incredible collection of singles, outtakes and rare tracks that proved to fans outside of collectors’ circles that the group ranked among the UK’s great singles bands.
Barbed Wire Kisses showcases a more varied presentation of the band. Their debut Creation single “Upside Down,” the speed-surf sonics of “Kill Surf City” and the dark “Hit” all gleam with the screeching hipster cool of Psychocandy’s best moments, while lighter fare like the tracks “Psycho Candy” and the acoustic version of “Taste of Cindy” echo the gentler tone of Darklands.
The Jesus and Mary Chain’s knack for jaw-dropping cover versions is also exhibited with their thrashy take on The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” and Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love.” The concurrent single “Sidewalking” ranks among the band’s best, with its T-Rex swagger filtered through band’s trademark feedback squall.
Debut album Psychocandy defined The Jesus and Mary Chain as nihilist rebels, while its follow-up Darklands revealed their softer (albeit still gloomy) side. Barbed Wire Kisses shows all the varied influences (Motown rhythms, Spector-ish walls of sound, surf licks, industrial noise) that informed the band on the next phase of their career as they continued to re-invent pop music. The album is a great snapshot of the band’s first half-decade and many of the band’s biggest fans consider it the equal to any of their best work.