The Jesus and Merritt Chain

I thought it was a joke when people started saying that the upcoming Magnetic Fields album would be loaded with feedback-soaked guitars and sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain. But it’s true! Or half-true; it’s loaded with feedback-soaked guitars but it still sounds just like the Magnetic Fields. Via Stereogum, here’s the first track, “Three-Way”:

This song is terrific, with a snaky little guitar that keeps popping in at surprising places, and big, repetitive, faraway-sounding piano that harks all the way back to the sound of “100,000 Fireflies.” It’s instrumental but for the band shouting the title. “Instrumental except for the title” is an underutilized form, by the way. “Tequila,” “Wipeout”, and the high point of the Orange Juice’s entire oeuvre, “Moscow Olympics” — is there a bad song that works like this?

Update:  Craig points out that I forgot They Might Be Giants’ “Minimum Wage,” which is really too great a song to be relegated to the comments.

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3 thoughts on “The Jesus and Merritt Chain

  1. Dirty Davey says:

    Another good one in that vein is Prince Buster’s “One Step Beyond”. As is–if you ignore the longer spoken/shouted intro–the Madness version of same.

  2. Craig says:

    In the small body of excellent “Instrumental except for the title,” I think that some mention must be made of They Might Be Giant’s “Minimum Wage.” Also excellent use of whipcrack sound effects.

  3. JmSR says:

    “Pick up the Pieces” by the Average White Band

    “Soul Finger” by the Bark-Kays

    “Pennsylvania 6-5000” by Glenn Miller

    “Watermelon Man” by Mongo Santamaria

    (Does “the Hustle” count? Because it also features the words “do” and “it” as well as “ooooh”)

    Still the more important question is: who is Merritt Stone?

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