Primal Scream - Chaosmosis - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Primal Scream - Chaosmosis

by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2016-03-18

The first thing to grab your attention is the artwork for Primal Scream’s 11th, 10-song recorded statement, Chaosmosis. It shows a black and white bust insert of frontman Bobby Gillespie – sporting some serious shades and a Davy Crockett hat - encased in multicolour block latticework, accompanied by the band’s PS initials rebranded insignia. It seems to show retro and future simultaneously, and it somehow portrays Primal Scream as the chameleonic artists they are; maintaining the echoes of yesterday’s rock 'n' roll credibility, while making their mark in the modern era.

They seem to be contrary to many other vintage artists; not primarily reliant on touring with heyday material and rehashing familiar formulas in order to sell more records. With this band on this album, surprises can happen, in having the ability to draw from various styles available, to use in expressing themselves.

The opening bars of piano chords on first up track ‘Trippin On Your Love’ instantly leads you back to Screamadelica favoured danceable groove and catchy chorus harmonies carried by the sisters of Haim. Yet it suddenly changes on the following electro-pop excursion ‘(Feeling Like A) Demon Again’, with a New Order straight to the point groove. Then we move into some Electro-Lounge on the relationship rescue plea ‘I can change’, full of trippy bluesy organ, smooth flutes, and heart aching breathy soul searching vocals by Mr Gillespie. The collective soulful vocals present a catchy ultimatum chorus on ‘100% or Nothing’ swirls around via icy synths, drums and bass.  

The melancholic folky acoustic ballad ‘Private Wars’ lulls you via acoustic guitar, into a nightly serenity, mandolin layers in tow and it is up there with the likes of Richard Ashcroft and The Coral in melodic and harmonic delivery. The made-for-the-clubs anthem of ‘Where The Light Gets In’ should be getting us all singing along, haunting guitars and synths present are made more enticing by the additional guest vocals’ of Sky Ferreira, and you can imagine The Happy Mondays having a karaoke moment of Donna Summer….Hold on to your hats, when the 2 minute harassment ’When The Blackout Leads To Fallout’ kicks in, which could be a bad trip/nervous breakdown soundtrack.

The chip tune bleeps on the quirky ‘Carnival Of Fools’ mopes about in a Sparks-like wall piano lines and synth laden haze,  adding to the crazy fairground organ unison melody by Bobby.  It is okay to like The 1970s Rolling Stones-y strut, that gets the moves going on ‘Golden Rope’, it unashamedly possesses some middle-eastern shehnai woodwind flourishes, full-out Hallelujah choruses, then calms to chilling chorus effect guitars in The Doors-like sound chamber, which accompanied by an eerie bassoon to be fair makes the song quite a trippy concoction. The finaliser ‘Autumn In Paradise’ holds a euphoric ambient refreshment with 12-string guitar lines and delayed keys, floating synths, and it fades out with some spacious female harmonies.

Chaosmosis certainly has bucket-loads of bite and surprise, which should reach out to those wanting to hear new material. Primal Scream’s essence is maintained within these songs, and the multifaceted enthusiasm is evident enough to take the band in other directions should they choose to venture further.

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