Jesus And The Mary Chain - Stoned and Dethroned 12 inch
Having made a name for itself through its career for punishing noise combined with candy-coated hooks,the Jesus and Mary Chainandnbsp;took a sideways step onandnbsp;Stoned andamp; Dethronedandnbsp;that actually worked rather handsomely. The Reids turned the emphasis toward much calmer, acoustic folk/country-tinged songs and, for the first time sinceandnbsp;Psychocandy, recorded with an actual full band, withandnbsp;Montiandnbsp;fromandnbsp;Curveandnbsp;once again doing the drum honors and touring bassistandnbsp;Ben Lurieandnbsp;handling the same duties in studio. The appearance ofandnbsp;Hope Sandovalandnbsp;on lead single "Sometimes Always" makes perfect sense, asandnbsp;Mazzy Star's electric/acoustic psych flow is, if not the inspiration forandnbsp;Stoned andamp; Dethroned, a close enough cousin. "Sometimes Always" does indeed make for a lovely little duet, not quite aandnbsp;Lee andamp; Nancyandnbsp;combination for a new generation, but a fine romp anyway, while on the other guest numberandnbsp;Shane Macgowanandnbsp;fromandnbsp;the Poguesandnbsp;takes a nicely mournful lead turn on "God Help Me." As for the album in general, the songs are much more than simply a toned-downandnbsp;Mary Chainandnbsp;-- it's almost as if the group were making its bid to finally demonstrate that it really was comprised of actual musicians, honest to goodness. What feedback there is appears as smoky atmosphere rather than skull-crushing scream, and oddly enough the end results almost suggest early-'70sandnbsp;Rolling Stonesandnbsp;more than anything else, tinged as always with pure pop hooks and melodies.andnbsp;William's singing actually comes more to the fore than before, his warmer, less sneering vocals suiting the burned-out feeling of the album very nicely. A few songs could easily be full-on monsters -- the brief "Come On" and the almost uplifting "Girlfriend" in particular -- but, by and large, the drama is implicit rather than explicit.