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Album Review: Primal Scream - More Light

  • Written by  Kenneth McMurtrie

2013 isn’t a very sexy sounding year but given that the opening track on Primal Scream’s tenth album mentions “Thatcher’s children” & various other goings on from during the late Baroness’s time in power they’ve lucked in in terms of political commentary this year. The fact that it also bears no resemblance to the Scream-by-numbers of second single 'It's Alright, It's OK' is also a big plus point. Where did they come up with the idea for that no wave-like brass part? Doubters beware - five years after last album Beautiful Future Primal Scream are back to make good on that promise.

Innovation abounds. The seven minutes of second track 'River Of Pain' are an early psychedelic, filmic epic (the vague resemblance of the album cover to that of the Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request suddenly seems less than accidental). As on the aforementioned previous album the band straddle a large range of styles across the 13 songs here, rather than sticking to purely alt. country or peudo-industrial as they alternated between on their works in the last decade.

Politics, of the daily and democratic kind alike, are very much on the agenda here. Along with opener '2013' Bobby and the band mount the soapbox on 'Culturcide' and 'Invisible City'. Unlike other acts of their longevity & popularity (and, let's face it, the wealth associated with continued fame) there's no feeling here of empty posturing to pull in a few more quid from customers you're out of touch with. Honesty and honest entertainment suffuse this entire work, even on that already mentioned second single (which thankfully turns up only in the baker's dozen position on the album).

'Elimination Blues', track number nine, slows the flow of the work down somewhat and despite pleasant backing harmonies and some decent distorted guitar parts is just a blues plodder covering the staples of the genre - loss and heartache. This isn't though even really a bum note, however, given the breadth of the band's reach. David Holmes' production work has done the material proud and cutting down on the number of guest appearances (Robert Plant and Mark Stewart feature somewhere or other but not obviously to these ears) was definitely a good idea. This could very well end up on a lot of end of year lists and those of you planning to see the band during the festival season should be rightly excited at the prospect.

More Light is released on May 13 and wil be available from amazon and via iTunes.

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