It must be tough being a Primal Scream fan. They’re a band who, basically, only releases a good album once a decade. Admittedly those are very good albums (1991’s Screamadelica and 2001’s weird, crazy angry, vowel hating XTRMNTR), but still, it must get frustrating. Fortunately it’s been a while since anything listenable so maybe now it’s time for another credible release. Based on single ‘2013’ I have doubts it’ll be anything more than solid to pretty good though. Produced by the same crew as XTRMNTR, it carries the same anti-establishment statement only a bit vaguer and with a few more clichés where legitimately bold statements once lay. Opening with a song called ‘Kill All Hippies’ and following up with ‘Swatstika Eyes’ has been replaced with stuff about being 20th century slaves that no one will ever get too tired of. It’s essentially Bobby Gillespie stating things that sound bad whilst sounding a bit angry; he complains of how there’s no critique anymore and does nothing to remedy that. It also falls into the same trap as The Flaming Lips in that the chorus is bloody appalling. I want to say it’s better than them saying RUN and FUN, but when you are literally just stating the current year over and over again it’s really very difficult. I guess Gillespie sings it better, which is something, sort of.
Still, it’s received a generous dose of MBV goodness, again like Kevin Shields dominated XTRMNTR. This time they’ve stolen Debbie Googe to replace Mani now that he’s skipped gleefully back to his true calling with The Stone Roses. The single version is nothing to write home about, or write on a blog about, but the full 9 minute version really isn’t very bad at all. It won’t blow you away but it has some seriously tasty sax and ends with some resounding Shields-esque guitar work. It’s actually a weird middle ground between the funkier, trippier Screamadelica and the harder, more searing XTRMNTR. It’s got a solid hook and chugs along at a fairly solid pace, which is good since the video is depressingly dull artsy crap. Gillespie may be vague but he’s not bad either, especially now he seems to have realised that middle aged, white, drugged out rockers rapping is the kind of thing that the word misery was invented for.
Not exactly the greatest note to end on but still, listen to it, it’s pretty good. The sax is anyway, and that’s really all anyone ever needs.