"This is one of those "every song could be a single" albums. There aren't many albums like that. Def Leppard's Hysteria, the Stone Roses debut...all I can think of right now.JAMC was an incendiary band, coming out of nowhere preaching a gospel of teenage girls and unhealthy living over the fuzz of a few chords and a pedestrian drumbeat. Their debut is a justifiable classic and far from a pop masterpiece. Honey's Dead lacks the danger and crude frantic energy of Psychocandy, but the slick production and clear melodic vocals make for an altogether addictive experience.Automatic gets a lot of praise, but you get the feeling after hearing Honey's Dead that Alan Moulder was just getting a feel for the band. The guitar hooks are more immediate on Honey's Dead, the moods are sharper, the lyrics deliciously simpler. There might not be a song as great as Head On, but you won't find any filler on Honey's Dead. And Monti, the drummer, provides the best early 90's beats this side of Loz.In a just world this album would have sold millions of copies in America. Buy it, then tell all your friends to do the same."
"I'm television sick and I'm television crazy..."
Cubist | United States | 07/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If any album was going to break the Mary Chain through in the US this is probably would have been the one. The songs off this album were in heavy rotation on their ill-fated stint at Lollapalooza and they cranked out a few videos as well (including, the controversial one for "Teenage Lust").
This was a fine return to form for the boys as they kicked things off with the feedback-drenced "Reverence" that made no bones about their love-hate relationships with the US. Lyrics like "I wanna die just like JFK/I wanna die in the USA" certainly didn't endear them to the politically correct.
But above all else, this album has some very catchy tunes throughout. From the bouncy, rockin' "Far Gone and Out" to the hopelessly romantic "Almost Gold." One of the strengths of the Mary Chain's music is their insanely catch hooks in their songs and this readily evident in songs like "Tumbledown" and Rollercoaster." And yet they can also slow things down and let their fine songwriting shine through as on "Sundown." And then they end things off with an affectionate homage to Jonathan Richman's "Road Runner" with "Frequency," which takes his infectious music and puts to a reprise of "Reverence."
This is a really good album. As others have said, very underrated--even among Mary Chain fans. This is a good one to pick up."
A consistently great album
trainreader | Montclair, N.J. | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since I've been reviewing on Amazon, and reading other people's reviews, I've obtained a greater appreciation as to how subjective things such as music, movies and books can be. Knowledgable fans of the same band often have an extraordinary diversity of opinions on, for instance, which is that band's best (or worst) album. With The Jesus and Mary Chain, however, I have to insist that the grungy "Honey's Dead," is clearly their best work, perhaps the culmination of JMC's previous three albums. The band perfectly blends the sonics of "Psychocandy," the best of the songs on "Darklands" ("Happy When It Rains" and "Down On Me"), and the playfulness of "Automatic," to create this incredible album.
Of course, "Honey's Dead" begins with the rather shocking "Reverence" ["I want to die like Jesus Christ (JFK)/ I want to die on a bed of spikes (on a sunny day)"]; and ends with "Frequency" (same lyrics, with the additional line "with the radio on."). Not my favorite songs on "HD," but certainly get one's attention. For pure driving rock, the Reid brothers give us "Far Gone and Out," "Tumbledown," and "Rollercoaster" (the last of which has an almost "Mr Tambourine Man" feel). The Reid Brother's guitar work shines, and the rest of the orchestration is quite superior to anything they did before. Just as good though, are the slower numbers, including "Almost Gold," "Catchfire," and "Sundown."
The two stand-out songs though are "Teenage Lust," and "Sugar Ray." "Teenage Lust," perhaps even more shocking than "Reverence," describes a "little skinny girl doing it for the first time." Of course, given the title, we automatically think "under-age," but the lyrics can be referring to a 19 year old, or even an older woman with a particularly lusty man.
In "Sugar Ray," I just love the inclusion of that cajun sounding aluminum percussive instrument. Although the song is certainly raunchy (lyrically reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lot of Love") there is a surprising tenderness to it as well. Obviously, the song is about having wild sex (especially during the instrumental part), but the man tells his companion that, even though his friends might be having loads of fun, "all I want is you." The lyrics are full of double entendres, but are never really explicit. I still smile when I hear Jim Reid sing in his sly snarling style (similar in some ways to Billy Idol), the lyrics "come enjoy," near the end of the song.
A great, highly underrated album, which, again, I have to insist, is JMC's best."
Perfect pop rock
Christopher Bushman | Portland, OR USA | 05/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Far Gone and Out may be one of the most perfect I'm-in-love-with-a-girl power pop songs of all time. It's certainly at the top of my list. I have pretty much included this on every mix tape I have made for friends for the past 13 years (wow, is this recording really that old?)"