We’re told that this was recorded in Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon West studio with Jon Spencer. Who cares about all that, really? Spencer’s a legend, no doubt about it, but there’s a worrying amount of name-dropping and comparative boasts coming from Sunshine & The Rain before the music has gotten anywhere near the eardrums: ‘Big Black meets the Shangri-Las’. ‘Suicide fronted by Joan Jett’. ‘Pailhead vs. The Shirelles’.
Big shoes to fill – big fucking shoes – but show me a time when a healthy dose of bravado and bullshit hasn’t gotten a band everywhere in the world of scuzzy rock’n’roll.
Well, hey ho then, and Let’s Go gets things moving straight away with some breezy new wave power pop that’s only objective is to power onward until the needle lifts. The sonic bloodline of I’m Not Your Girl trickles down directly from Teenage Kicks and as a result it can’t really be faulted. It’s a fine few minutes of pop, from Ashley Morey’s salty resignation to Justin Morey’s fuzzy power chords. Both formerly of psych rockers The Black Hollies, the husband and wife duo have taken a much leaner approach with their current incarnation under Spencer’s editorial mentorship.
The pair are clearly having fun with these tracks. Come on Baby recalls Oliver’s Army with the added insertion of a mighty “Boom, boom boom, cha!” drumbeat that silences everything else right in the middle of the song. The album is oddly punctuated halfway through by a cover of Fugazi ‘s Merchandise, marked apart by a more overt drum machine intro and overall synthetic feel than all of the rest of those Phil Spector by way of The Jesus & Mary Chain beats, and the swathes of garage noise and feedback that appear throughout.
‘In The Darkness Of My Night’ is just one amongst so many stars in the constellation of metallic studs embedded in Joey Ramones’ well-beaten leather jacket – not so tarnished as some, a bit more polished than others; in the grand schematic, unremarkable, yet worthy of its place in the bigger picture once given its dues.
Never mind that it’s all been done before, and better. Never mind that it kind of sounds like Ex Hex only nowhere near as clued in. Never mind that The Jesus & Mary Chain have just put out a new album that’s actually less enjoyable than this, even though they have so much to answer for in its execution. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will probably release a new record any day now and they’ll probably have these two supporting them on the tour. Sounds like a fun night out.