Sister Vanilla Little Pop Rock

Don’t call it a comeback, exactly. Although this is in fact the first time Jim and William Reid have collaborated since their mid-gig fallout in 1998, the heart and soul of the Jesus & Mary Chain are merely supporting their kid sister Linda’s project, Sister Vanilla (a name given to her when she sang on the JAMC’s final album, Munki). The timing of this recording, however, couldn’t be better for the Reid brothers, seeing as they’ve buried the hatchet and revived their legendary band for some select shows. Little Pop Rock is certainly filled with the attributes of the Reid family’s musical prowess: divine, off-key melodies, a mix of sinister pedal fuzz and friendly guitar jangle, and a light hue of unusual pop brilliance. However, this isn’t Psychocandy or Honey’s Dead — it’s mostly Linda at work, using her brothers as contributors and producers (along with JAMC collaborator and ex-Gun Club leader Ben Lurie). They pop up on "Jamcolas,” which is pure Mary Chain, with its heavy beat, Jim’s unmistakable vocals and a heady, driving riff. Needless to say, it’s also the standout track. But Linda’s not exactly a feeble songwriter; she’s clearly learned the art from her brothers over the years and she shines on songs like the slow-burning come down of "Slacker” and docile ballad "Angel.” Sure, without the Reid men hanging about this wouldn’t be the same record but Little Pop Rock is the best thing they’ve been involved with since Munki, and by comparison it’s maybe even a bit better. (Chemikal Underground)