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Baker's Dozen

Parallel Worlds: Peter Strickland's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , June 3rd, 2014 13:03

On the occasion of the Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Varga director releasing Wasp Boutique, a collaboration between Art-Errorist and Zsolt Sőrés, on his record label, and with a new feature film on the way, he sits down with Colm McAuliffe to talk 13 formative favourites

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The Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy
I got into them the same week I bought Isn't Anything. Unlike My Bloody Valentine, I knew about the Mary Chain since their debut, only because of their notoriety. I remember noticing tabloid headlines about them in our local dentist's waiting room and thinking how all four of them looked as if they had nits. I was too young to actually bother investigating the actual music.

The album was devastating when I heard it in 1991 and I still feel the same about it now. There are no favourite tracks because every track is a favourite. It's just this glorious, exhilarating racket and it's perfect. They were quite arrogant about how good the album was, which I loved. Too many people shroud themselves in false modesty, but this lot are like a slap in the face to that. They came across as the original party poopers. I love that interview on Radio 1 when they were at the height of their fame touring America and William Reid was moaning about not being able to watch Coronation Street. They were at odds with both the pop world of the 80s and my middle class background. They were fantastic and part of me wishes I was four years older in order to have been around when Psychocandy came out. It was through the Mary Chain that I got into The Velvet Underground. If I heard the Velvets first, maybe their first or second album might have had more of an impact, but the Mary Chain and Valentines got there first for me. I was new and open to the world and hearing music like that is an epiphany.

It felt incredibly cathartic listening to Psychocandy at high volume and it still does now. It's still staggering how all those sheaths of noise could disrupt the mainstream. At times, the feedback was on a par with The New Blockaders. But combining all that noise with those melodies was genius. I never ever get bored of that album. I also love the dankness of it all. The whole thing sounds like it's recorded in a cave. I loved almost all the bands that came in the wake of the Mary Chain and Valentines even though the press loved attacking them. The KVB seem to have been passed the baton from the Mary Chain at the moment. They certainly have that Mary Chain sensibility without sounding like copyists. I was very close to putting their Minus One on this list.


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