on 8 January 2002
2000 was the year Radiohead broke onto the scene with electronic, bizarre rock. Yet while all the attention revolved around them, Primal Scream released this stunning album, which arguably eclipses the achievements of both KID A and Amnesiac. The album begins on an aggressive note, with Kill All Hippies, and the pace remains throughout. I have yet to listen to an album which manages to keep the sheer pace and energy flowing for so long; Accelerator, a brash, intense fuzz of guitars and strained vocals follows, leading onto the excellent Exterminator. This and Swastika Eyes become the political centrepiece for the album, with Manis pulsating bass pumping the songs up to the maximum. Elsewhere, look out for Keep your Dreams and MBV Arkestra. Shoot Speed/Kill Light concludes the album in style, a wonderfully grogy, blurred track. Perhaps the addition of a remix of Swastika Eyes made the album perhaps overlong. Truly a record to riot to. Superb.
Over the years since their inception they've been a winsome Byrds tribute band, a hoary Stones tribute band, an awesome, euphoric, eclectic, alternative dance outfit, and a smacked-up 12-bar blues barroom boogie rock band. And now this... Punk. Dub. Funk. White noise. 21st century idealist political ballads. Free jazz. Gay disco. Psychopathic machine rock. 9 years after 'Screamadelica' they've finally come up with an album that can stand up alongside it without looking either weak or just plain bad. They may be nearing 40, they may be dangerously close to insanity due to taking all the drugs, but Bobby Gillespie, Innes, Throb, Duffy, Mani and now Kevin Shields (plus anyone else who fancies popping in to the studio for a few minutes now and then) are probably the most exciting band in the country right now. Bar At The Drive-In, the most exciting band in the world. The breadth, depth, energy, anger, compassion and downright bloody-minded brilliance of this record can't be emphasised enough. XTRMNTR is, simply, fckng xcllnt.
on 10 November 2000
the echo of which will, one hopes, be around for some time to come. Give Out But Don't Give Up was a quite enjoyable trad-rock album and Vanishing Point was a crazed, dubbed-up brute. However, both lacked the vision of Screamadelica. This album is the true follow-up.
While undeniably harder and darker, with its mix of film dialogue samples and dubby grooves, Exterminator is easily the equal of Screamadelica. Bobby Gillespie's vocals here are minima but his presence hangs over the whole album. Kill All Hippies takes Kowalski's death wish to its (intended?) conclusion.
Then there's Swastika Eyes' surely the deathliest disco record since New Order's Blue Monday, a track to which it bears more than a passing resemblance, before going right off the rails into Prodigy territory (Liam Howlett is thanked in the sleeve notes). An aggressive hip hop track, Exterminator is easily the best thing on the album. It goes mental, Bobby Gillespie rapping about how the Government wants to kill the poor. It's an invigorating, enervating track, completely different to anything else Primal Scream have ever done. Oassis should try something like it.
MBV Arkestra, a jazzed up reworking of Vanishing Point's If They Move Kill 'Em almost but not quite matches it. As I've said before, this is a hard, angry record, and MBV Arkestra is by far the most unhinged track on it, going off in all sorts of directions, not caring if (or even, where) it ends up. That's what's called taking risks, kids, and Primal Scream are one of the few bands brave enough to do this in today's sterile musical climate, which is one of the reasons this is such a breathtaking record. The only real moment of respite during this album's sixty minutes and twenty nine seconds comes with the lovely Keep Your Dreams, which comes on like the result of a clandestine tryst between Damaged and Long Life. Like a lot of other things on this album, it shouldn't work, but it most definitely does.
on 23 April 2002
2000 was a pretty good year for music, one that unleashed masterpieces such as Air's 'Virgin Suicides Score,' Badly Drawn Boy's 'The Hour of Bewilderbeast,' and Radiohead's 'Kid A.' However, not only does this album blow everything else away from that year, but it could be the best album since R.E.M.'s 'Automatic For The People.' This album is unlike anything I have ever heard, and it truly mindblowing. From the opening cell phone ring of 'Kill All Hippies,' one knows that there's going to be a revolution, one that completely rewrites the book on music. There is so much here, but underneath it all is the truly amazing bass of one Gary Mountfield, aka Mani, formerly of the Stone Roses. His bass truly is the heart of this record, and it carries every song through it's murky, body moving throb. On 'Hippies,' for example, his Kraftwerk-like computer-programmed-sounding bass steals the show, as this reviewer had a sudden urge to GET DOWN when hearing it. On 'Accelerator,' an MC5/Stooges-thrash of proto-punk, a wall of Kevin Shields-programmed guitar noise has the power to incite a rock revolution alone. 'Swastika Eyes,' a self-described, by Bobby, 'gay disco' masterpiece truly is what they should be playing at raves, not that Oakenfold business; it puts you in a trance. On the David Holmes assisted 'Blood Money,' and 'Shoot Speed Kill Light,' the listener is subjected to jazz that turns into a war riot, and a psychedelic haze that lifts the soul out of the body (it reminded me U2's 'Zoo Station' off 'Achtung Baby.') However, the real kicker is the Sun Ra/MBV influenced 'MBV Arkestra (If They Move Kill Em),' a song that, with pounding and scorching rhythm, unleashes a riffy, distorted guitar lick, and adds a wall of feedback, and adds more feedback, and ... soon enough, you truly feel like you've just been transported to a whole new world of music, one where anything is possible. And XTRMNTR is the doorway to the sonic revolution.
on 26 July 2001
A pure raw masterpiece by the noisiest punk combo all around. Belive me, the latest release of the Primals is the best thing I've heard in ages! Primitive and crude but innovative at the same time, this record only deserves to be criticised for one thing: I can't get it loud enough on my stereo!! Turn on "Accelerator" and destroy your room like one of those jerks in an expensive hotel room.
on 25 April 2004
My favourite album without a doubt. Put simply, every home should have acopy. The scream team made a quite dazzling album with this one. Spanninga huge number of genres such as electronica, punk, free-form jazz,krautrock and hip-hop this album is breathtaking from start to finish. Atotal masterpiece.
on 26 November 2000
Xtrmntr is, simply, an album that is impossible to be passive about. Forget any of your previous conceptions about Primal Scream, about music itself. With an exciting combination of live musicians and sampling, Xtrmntr conveys something sadly missing in much of this year's music- real passion. From the irresistably unstable 'Pills', with its chorus of sweat and bile, to bizarre jazz/funk/nothing you've heard before jam 'Blood Money', this is an album of fire and ice. Justly hailed by many critics as the album of 2000. But don't buy it for them. Buy it because it's great.
on 10 August 2014
Sorry to much noise and not enough music. Didn't even listen to the whole CD. My bad! Screamadelica is a much better album
on 27 April 2016
Primal scream released 3 great albums between 1997 and 2002 and this was sandwiched in the middle
on 19 September 2015
Primal screams best album. Has a Great sound and full of banging tunes.