sister vanilla's spectacular debut--and, as yet, criminally her final--album, little pop rock
standing between the brothers reid isn't a position we envy, nor is it one we would begrudge anyone for sidestepping, so it is quite obviously impossible to ever put into words our eternal thanks to linda, their younger sister, for braving the most legendarily explosive sibling relationship/rivalry in rock and roll history and being, quite possibly, the sole thread linking the decade long unhinged delirium of deteriorated brotherly love. while it'd be easy to dismiss little pop rock as nothing more than the notorious 'lost' jesus and mary chain album--we're sure that's how you'll view it if you're a nearly deaf, borderline tasteless, explcititly dumb fuck that's just discovering it--we prefer to view it as the complementary mirror universe sequel to munki that a better world, a better timeline, a better universe deserved far more than ours. make no mistake, little pop rock is the great lost jesus and mary chain album, but not in the way you think--it is the greatest evidence the rock and roll world has ever had that the only thing better than a band with two exceptionally talented, wildly original musician and songwriter brothers is a band with two brothers and one sister, all exceptionally talented, all wildly original.
with munki's "Moetucker", william and jim's first performance with linda at the mic, the reid brothers found perhaps the only thing they have ever lacked: the nancy sinatra to their lee hazelwood. her ghostly ethereality, her bated breathlessness, as if on the edge of the universe, one foot into the void, ready to vanish after one last song together, graces their ultra violent, feedback laden, guitar drenched sonic landscape in a way no man ever had or could. you can hear in these songs how strained william and jim still were, towards each other, towards themselves, towards the world, towards music--it's a split record, with the brothers never working directly with each other--yet it is linda which gives them a life all their own, elevating songs worthy merely of wouldbe reid side projects to those of the jesus and mary chain. not the one we have today, the one we should have had. the one which tapdanced on the event horizon of another universe straight into ours.
it isn't that damage and joy is a bad record, in fact it's pretty fucking great, it's just that it wears its age and fragility on its sleeve. that we even got a record at all should be celebrated as it means music neither destroyed their lives nor their relationship with each other, and as much as i love rock and roll, it's safe to say nothing would have been worth that. rather, it's that as you age, as your full tilt menace softens with your skin and bones, you have to find different ways to elicit and dispense damage and joy. somewhere, in another, better universe, there's a damage and joy with linda at the forefront, the mary chain having learned the greatest lesson little pop rock could ever have taught a rock and roll band that already knew and had conquered it all--when guitars slow, when drums breathe, when words cut shallow, when brothers have had their say, it's the sister whose first word, and, especially, whose last, will gleefully drown the world ever so shortly after saving it.
marry me, sister vanilla. at least hold my hand for a little bit while we spin some records together.