1998, Music

Munki (1998)

I have always found these guys overrated, so I am wondering what I am doing here, listening to a later album of theirs that even the fans are divided over. I’m not even speaking to the one Mary Chain fan I know about this record. So what am I doing?

I bet that, for the fans that like this album, this record is actually interesting, as it lets them play “Who’s better?” between the Reid brothers. (I cannot tell the difference between their voices, sorry.) Fans can do this because they wrote and recorded their songs separately and then sequenced them so the record mostly alternates between their songs. What does it say about me – and my view of this band – that I can’t really tell that without looking at the credits?

I will say that I find this record considerably more “rock” than the previous J&MC records I’ve heard, and that’s appealing. It sounds louder to my ears, whether that’s because of improvements in recording technology or because these guys have decided to up the volume. (It’s worth noting, this version of the band seems to be more dynamic than the ’80s version of the band.)

But though these guys still write strong melodies, I still can’t say I love their music; the lyrics do nothing for me, the aesthetic has never been something I loved – even though it’s more my thing here – and the whole thing is just way too much of the same thing for 70 minutes.


  1. “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” (J. Reid) – 2:37
  2. “Birthday” (W. Reid) – 3:57
  3. “Stardust Remedy” (J. Reid) – 2:26
  4. “Fizzy” (W. Reid) – 3:39
  5. “Moe Tucker” (J. Reid) – 3:19
  6. “Perfume” (W. Reid) – 4:39
  7. “Virtually Unreal” (J. Reid) – 3:38
  8. “Degenerate” (W. Reid) – 5:29
  9. “Cracking Up” (W. Reid) – 4:40
  10. “Commercial” (W. Reid) – 7:02
  11. “Supertramp” (J. Reid) – 3:37
  12. “Never Understood” (W. Reid) – 4:14
  13. “I Can’t Find the Time for Times” (W. Reid) – 4:17
  14. “Man on the Moon” (J. Reid) – 3:41
  15. “Black” (W. Reid) – 5:18
  16. “Dream Lover” (J. Reid) – 3:05
  17. “I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll” (W. Reid) – 3:42
  • Jim Reid – vocals (tracks 1 to 3, 5, 7, 10 to 11, 13 to 14, 16), guitar, production
  • William Reid – vocals (tracks 1 to 4, 6, 8 to 10, 12 to 15, 17), guitar, production
  • Ben Lurie – guitar, bass
  • Nick Sanderson – drums

Additional personnel

  • Sister Vanilla – vocals (track 5)
  • Sean Lebon – vocals (track 5)
  • Hope Sandoval – vocals (track 6)
  • Terry Edwards – horns

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