The Sound of Speed is second in the trilogy of Jesus and Mary Chain "odds and sods" releases. This one isn't quite as essential as Barbed Wire Kisses (the first), but it definitely holds less cash-cow negativity and greater value over The Jesus and Mary Chain Hate Rock 'n' Roll (the third). The period covered here is 1989-1993, collecting most of the B-sides from Automatic and Honey's Dead. It's not quite complete, missing at least four B-sides ("Subway," "In the Black," "Terminal Beach," "I'm Glad I Never") and a small number of remixes. "Snakedriver" provides the best reason for picking this up, a classic Jesus and Mary Chain song in the sleazy, bluesy, "Beach Boys on lots of smack" mold. "Write Record Release Blues" skewers the Man while poking fun at themselves; one major demand: "Leave me in peaceful abject misery." The radio mix of "Reverence" doesn't sound any friendlier than the original, adding two minutes to the wailing beast and turning it into the dance remix of Big Black's "Kerosene" that it really is. Desperate, immature malevolence doesn't get any better. Speaking of reverence, this offers another clutch of covers, including Leonard Cohen's "Tower of Song" (pleasantly dirgeful), the Temptations' "My Girl" (pointless), Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" (maxed vocal distortion), the 13th Floor Elevators' "Reverberation" (jug-free), and Jerry Reed's "Guitarman" (doesn't quite work). Other highlights in this decent package include the nasty "Lowlife" and an eight-minute version of "Sidewalking" that should please those who like the sludgy battering of the regular version.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman