Primal Scream - 2013 - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Primal Scream - 2013

by Rich Morris Rating:8 Release Date:2013-02-25

After a couple of albums spent twatting around pretending to be The Stones (again), Primal Scream are back to making innovative music and (as the title of this single suggests) ready to re-engage with the 21st century. The signs are encouraging: Ver Scream are back working with Kevin Shields and David Holmes, who helped sculpt XTRMNTR, their raging, genre-eviscerating masterpiece. They have, however, lost Mani to The Stone Roses, which possibly explains the lack of a killer bassline on '2013'.

Musically, there's no doubt this is the strongest Scream single for yonks. It starts off sounding like X-Ray Spex's Lora Logic jamming with psych-jazz weirdos Gong before bursting into a so-simple-it's-genius sax riff. If there's one thing rock needs in 2013, it's more sax. Sax and that popping synth-drum noise off Kelly Marie's deathless disco hit 'Feels Like I'm in Love'. '2013' has both, as well as a veritable ocean of guitar noise from Shields, and a spot of unashamed axe-widdling.

Sonically then, '2013' is a triumph, its nine minutes stretching off to the horizon in finest motorik-speedfreak style. Where it falls down a tad is with dear old Bobby Gillespie's thin non-voice and scattershot lyrics. But then, wasn't it ever thus? The problem here is that his declarations of political unrest and dystopian society remain as vague as they were on XTRMNTR. Released in 2000, that album at least had novelty and a certain well-tapped millennial angst on its side. On '2013', Gillespie just sounds like he's retreading old ground with nothing new to say.

So, this is Primal Scream in 2013, apparently. This single might not measure up to the high-points of XTRMNTR, but then, 13 years after that album's release, not much else has. At least we can get excited waiting for a Primal Scream album again, safe in the knowledge it will contain more than just hoary old blues riffs.

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