What Goes Around

In 2005 Sister Vanilla released their only album to date, Little Pop Rock. Sister Vanilla was/is Linda Reid, the sister of Jim and William. Back in 2005 Jim and William were only just talking again and the Mary Chain hadn’t yet re-united. Instead Little Pop Rock became a sort of Jesus And Mary Chain album by proxy, Linda on vocals throughout and Jim and William recording songs with her in her flat and at their studio The Drugstore (along with Ben Lurie who followed Jim after the JAMC split up live onstage in Los Angeles who plays on it ). The album was recorded piecemeal over a couple of years with Stephen Pastel helping out, while Jim and William presumably found their way round working alongside each other again.

Some of the songs on Little Pop Rock appeared elsewhere in the brothers catalogue- K To Be Lost on William’s Lazycame album and Can’t Stop The Rock and The Two Of Us on the reformed Mary Chain’s Damage And Joy from 2017 (Linda singing on the former). The songs reference the Mary Chain in places- the song called Jamcolas for one, a scuzzy romp with Jim singing the first half of the song and Linda the second. On K To Be Lost Linda sings ‘Honey’s Dead and Psychocandy, I listened to them all of the time’. Linda had sung on The Mary Chain’s swansong, 1998’s Munki, the song Mo Tucker being one of that albums few high points. So it’s a Mary Chain album in many ways with shared vocals, lo-fi and homemade (and all the better for it), Linda’s voice providing a good counterpoint to her brothers.

This one opens with a drum machine and single piano notes and a sense of impending doom. The guitar playing is spindly and distorted and then Linda, vocals smothered in reverb, sings of Tienanmen Square, digital pies and Jim Morrison.

TOTP

What Goes Around is full on self-loathing set to a three chord rumble with lyrics about hookers and LSD, money, drugs, fame, piss, mothers and wives, good times becoming bad times. Eventually William joins in singing ‘what goes around comes around’.

What Goes Around

Sister Vanilla ‘Jamcolas’

When The Jesus And Mary Chain split up live on stage in 1999 it seemed pretty terminal. William went off and recorded some of the most uncommercial, unfocussed and downright unlistenable stuff any record label has ever put out as Lazycame. I’ve got the album and it’s awful. I’ve got a 7″ which has got a good track on it. Jim took Ben Lurie from The Mary Chain and formed Freeheat, who released some stuff in America, but it was a bit uninspired. Jim had a brief stab at a solo career as well, with a good single called Dead End Kids (remind me and I’ll post it at some point). In 2007 they unexpectedly reformed playing Coachella (with Scarlett Johansson guesting) and a few gigs afterwards, but new material has been thin on the ground. A new song was aired on a US tv show and popped up in an episode of Heroes. Typically, they claimed the secret to the reformation was ‘Jim doesn’t drink anymore, and William doesn’t drink on stage’.

In between the split and the reformation, in early 2007, a Sister Vanilla album, Little Pop Rock, came out to a few reviews but little fanfare which was surprising as it was a Mary Chain album in all but name. Sister Vanilla is fronted by the Reid’s sister Linda, and she has the Mary Chain drawl down to a t. The Mary Chain are all over the album- the songs are co-written by Jim and William, Jim, Ben Lurie and William produced it, Jim sings on many of the tracks with Linda and plays guitar, William’s instruments are all over it. The lyrics reference the Mary Chain (the title of this song for one, another goes ‘Honey’s Dead, Psychocandy, I listen to them all of the time’). Several of the songs were recorded by earlier Reid projects (Two Of Us by Freeheat, Can’t Stop The Rock by Jim as the b-side to his Secret For A Song solo single, K To Be Lost was the best/only Lazycame song). Some of the songs feature William’s distinctive misanthropic worldview (‘I’ve had money and drugs and fame, I pissed my money all down the drain, I pissed my mother, I pissed my friend’ etc etc, sung with a sweet snarl by Linda). It’s a really good little album and well worth looking out for.

Here’s a taster- Jamcolas- fuzzy, snarly, warm, narcotic but alive, honey and candy- you know the drill.

02 Jamcolas.wma