Wednesday, July 15, 1998

Review - Munki

Artist: The Jesus and Mary Chain

Posted on Wed, Jul 15, 1998 at 4:00 AM

"Munki" is perhaps the finest 70 minutes of distortion-heavy pop songs ever produced by feisty Scottish brothers Jim and William Reid. They manage to squeeze all of the best characteristics of their songwriting -- feedback noise, visceral lyrics and coolly detached melodies -- into one near-perfect album.

The Reids' debut album for Seattle's Sub Pop Records is bookended by two songs about the music business -- the Phil Spector-ish "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and the smoldering, overdriven "I Hate Rock 'n' Roll" -- yet is a diverse offering. From the dub rhythms of "Perfume" and the buzzing "Mo Tucker" (sung by the Reids' sister Linda) to the deluxe distortion of "Birthday" and the acoustic "Never Understood," "Munki" could easily serve as a crash course in everything Jesus and Mary Chain.

Other standout cuts include the blissful, driving rock of "Fizzy" and the spiky dissonance of "Commercial." Anyone who has ever been partial to the music of the Reid brothers during their 13-year career will find this essential listening.

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