on 14 May 2013
This is a return to the beats driven and soul-stomping version of Primal Scream, leaving behind the Stones' inspires blues rock they have dabbled in over the past decade. Holmes' production adds a nice cinematic feel and he is clearly a fan. The opener '2013' is a statement of intent, clocking in at nine minutes complete with Kevin Shields soaring guitars. The opulent 'River of Pain' is a psychedelic trip full of Indian influences. The song 'Culturecide' has a hint of 'Vanishing Point' about it while 'Hit Void' is a sharp rocker. At this stage the album starts to lose momentum and the lingering 'Tenement Kid', experimental 'Invisible City' and the faux-country of 'Goodbye Johnny' all plod along pleasantly. The brickwall of soundscapes of 'Sideman' is interesting but has the listener quickly reach for the skip button. Robert Plant's vocal contribution on Elimination Blues is cool and understated and bring the album back on track. The snappy 'Turn Each Other Inside Out' flows nicely. In contrast 'Relativity' is overly long and the first section can only be described as a racket, until it becomes a different song altogether four minutes in. The again, oddball arrangements and hooks are things to be expected on a Primal Scream album. The acoustic 'Walking with the Beast' lead to the lush 'It's alright, It's ok' that seems to incapsulate all past influences complete with a trademark stomping chorus. Accomplished.
on 3 June 2013
More Light sees Primal Scream playing every card they have up their sleeves onto one album. The movie noir space and atmospherics of Vanishing Point melding seamlessly with their straight-ahead rock'n'roll alter-ego to create easily their best album since XTRMNTR (I say this as someone who has liked all their albums since then).
Lyrically on a few tracks, it feels like they're saying,"with Beautiful Future we warned you what was happening, now here we are. What are you gonna do about it?" Hard to argue with them.
The year is 2013 and Primal Scream have nailed the Zeitgeist yet again with their most comprehensive album to date.
on 17 June 2013
The sublime genius of BOBBY GILLESPIE is still in full flight and he still runs his empire of sounds majestically.PRIMAL SCREAM has perfected its sound as a combo on this record: More Light and with gratifying moments throughout all the tracks included -which also means: all sonically shimmering added with energy and excitement!Psychedelia followers have always enjoyed the sonic gems of this combo and it's trademark. Really splendid!
HELENE RAMOS GALAGARZA
peruvian journalist,cyber dj,producer
on 25 May 2013
Yep, in my opinion this is their best album since 'Vanishing Point'. There are many great moments, opener 2013 sounds like mid-seventies Hawkwind complete with Nik Turner-style sax blasts, which is never a bad thing. Given the loss of Mani to the Stone Roses, I'm pleased they have kicked on and produced an album with a wonderful bass groove and swing. Overall the album flows really well and David Holmes has done a great production job. By the time you get to the last few bars of It's Alright, It's Ok you feel like you've been on a proper musical journey, just like all the best albums.
on 7 July 2013
I can't give this album five stars simply because it's relatively new and you've got to give stuff time, and then you need to leave some room for Blonde on Blonde and Berlin and The Scream's own Vanishing Point and other classics, but really it is v. Good. Side Man is a stand out at the minute for me, but the standard right across the whole thing is typically high. Ever since the abovementioned they've been fairly consistently good. I prefer the harder edged stuff to the Memphis type material, and must praise Bobby for retaining a political interest when all the old Weller's sold out so long ago, a subject touched upon on 2013. Why Mani would want to go back to the Stoses I don't know.
on 31 July 2013
Remember the 90s, when your favourite artists ruled the music charts despite being 'alternative pop rock', released great new albums and it felt like a big event, and was exciting holding the new CD case in your hand? Primal Scream's More Light brings back those memories. There's only one weak song (Goodbye Johnny), and to my mind that ratio makes this a great album. They've come back to XTRMNTR levels of attitude, passion and brilliance. Who knew? No self-parody or chasing tails, just full steam ahead. Deep, diverse, unpredictable, and satisfying, it gets better with every listen. The likes of Depeche Mode could pay attention to this and take a moment to re-evaluate.
on 24 May 2013
I just love this record, it feels big, ambitious and sweeping. But I'm going to throw in a word that many of you may not like and the uber cool PS fan might disagree with, probably because they're too cool to have checked out "Hall of the Mountain Grill", but by god does the opening track "2013" sound like mid to late 70s Bob Calvert era Hawkwind (inc Hawklords and Sonic Assassins).
Every time when I go to listen to it I keep thinking "I must be wrong", and then the mid tempo driving, phased chords kick in, the sax fires up, the little guitar lines come in and out and the synths swirl around and it sounds even more like it than the previous time I listened to it... so much so that now some of other tracks on the album are echoing Hawkwind to me, but obviously with the immeasurable casual cool of Primal Scream stamped all over the top.
As somebody who finds the fact Hawkwind are consistently judged and maligned by the "Silver Machine" single, I find the fact that it appears that Mr Gillespie and Mr Innes have thrown some of Hawkwind's far superior work into their swirling mass of influences and inspiration very satisfying indeed.
Think I'm barking up the wrong tree or deluded? Let's not forget the fact that a cover version of "Motorhead" (originally a Hawkwind song" appears on Vanishing Point... but this album is so much more than just a single influence, there's even a cheeky "Midnight Cowboy"-esque moment at the end of "Relativity" and the lyrics throughout the album are on top form - "What happened to the voices of dissent? Getting rich I suppose..." Bobby gently observes in 2013 going on to state that there's ..."No revolutionary spirit left, they've sanitised the freaks.."
I wonder how I'll be feeling about this record in 6 months, but right now I'd got so used to Primal Scream releases being a steady "ok" and just good enough to warrant a tour that this slab of music was a complete unexpected beautiful surprise. I would say that if the lads who recorded "Screamadelica" could have jumped forward in time to see where they were at in 2013, they'd be feeling pretty damn pleased that they were still going so strong and putting out such a class record.
My last piece of advice - get the double vinyl, (you get a CD with it as well), this is a record that is made for and deserves to be heard on that format, thanks guys, you have made a 42 year old cynical music snob very very happy, cheers!
on 28 June 2013
Rather than a big fanfare, Primal Scream slipped back into the disco with 2013 in February. With songs appearing on the internet rather than the radio and social media covering every slight movement these days, easing their way back in probably suited the band who had apparently turned down landing at Luton Airport because it wasn't rock n roll enough.
After spending 20 years as magpies to a man and producing a varied offering of albums at every turn More Light shows Primal Scream have found their beat; they actually, finally, sound like themselves. Beautiful Future was the prophetical start and, five years later, this album continues the groove.
But the departure of Mani back to the reformed Stone Roses could have left a gargantuan hole. He singlehandedly woke the Scream Team from a heroin riddled Stonesian nightmare, bringing with him a battering range of bass lines as heavy as an iron army marching with only utter destruction as intent. Simone Butler steps into Mani's size 10 kickers, playing with ingenuity and subtleness on a less bass-centric record.
2013 is a state of the nation address that opens with an almost comedic police siren, its rhythmic Roxy Music sax sitting alongside Neu!'s Hallogallo beat - Krautrock is a touchstone the band continually stroke. Gliding along for over nine minutes gives Bobby Gillespie plenty of time to checklist the ills facing Britain in, er, 2013.
Politics is a subject Gillespie enjoys, rebellious behaviour a stylistic default setting, and More Light gives him over 70 minutes to mix the two. Yet this isn't Billy Bragg or Rage Against the Machine political activism, the message is delivered in the Primal's own bleeding spirit of rock `n' roll style.
A strange Indian mantra teases River of Pain downstream, acoustic guitars with a ripple of castanets, before David Holmes' film score production adds drama to a finale of glorious 1950's MGM strings, as the Eastern rhythm returns like a smoother cousin to Tomorrow Never Knows. These songs are noticeably less concise, and the expanded workout can be sprawling, but the variety within engages the listener, encouraging them into a kaleidoscopic tunnel of sounds and colours. A hint of psychedelia weaves through the LP, where traces of Can and Hawkwind circle the periphery.
Holmes' production hand brings stability to the rock `n' roll train; rather than lurching from disco to dub, the band are coherent and are sounding like, well, like Primal Scream. This isn't to say it's a pastiche of previous primal palettes - although It's Alright, It's Ok is a fair echo of Movin' On Up.
Hit Void's urgent drumming is the foundation for a swelling, industrial grinding backdrop for Gillespie's plaintive repetition of the title. Then a Robert Fripp guitar comes straight from Scary Monsters to accompany a squawking sax to close four blistering minutes. There's more procurement on Tenement Kid as the bass line comes from the same block as Pink Floyd's Money.
For what is thrown at the Scream Team in regards of stealing, massaging and twisting other people's work, here is a group of music fans so devout that it can only produce something that will beat seven bells out of the blandness sent through the airwaves of today.
So in an act of honesty Gillepsie, Innes and Duffy invited Robert Plant to sing on Elimination Blues, rather than just ripping off the best voice to hold a senior citizens card. Plant and Gillespie trade lines in this slow country blues take. Some exquisite female backing vocals compliment the deep male semi-drawls as a squally guitar rivals for the spotlight. A standout.
Another bright light is Invisible City, which fizzes and bubbles with funk, its Teutonic pulse and warm bass line creating a joyous dance floor shuffle. Holmes reviving his Las Vegas skills from his work on the Ocean movies liberate the listener from the extreme times the band are documenting elsewhere.
With Relativity we're back to the lengthy tracks of squelches, steady beats with Kevin Shields lending his buzzing, thick guitarscapes, until halfway through it becomes a dreamy, delicate, meandering vision. And this it what makes the album seem longer than it actually is, it's not short, but the lack of a couple distinguished pop gems gives the album a protracted feel, but there's quality shapeshifting within nearly all of the tracks to stave off tedium.
The shackles of parody haven't fully been kicked off though, Movin' On Up It's Alright... closes the record with it's euphoric gospel lifting you away from the apocalypse, doing exactly what is says on the tin.
Unfortunately, Chairman Bob and co will eternally have Screamadelica to chase, and will probably always fail to catch, but a deeper look in to their musical well delivers a few belters. It is, after all their wild forays into various aural pastures through each album, a band who have now located an identity that contains all their influences and they've used this alchemy to produce a cohesive connection to the their last long player and to sound vital on this one. More Light is a knowledgeable and deft record, one which displays creativity and ambition, heralding their rampant diversity while acknowledging the spectre of their influences; a band who, from this awareness, have confidently found their own sound. Maybe the myth of being a universal tribute act has finally been XTRMNTD.
For more music reviews visit alexandertate.wordpress.com
on 30 May 2013
Great album, The Scream at they're best. Great production by David Holmes, Bobby has worked with him before.
2013 nearly 9 mins long, not long enough!
Love the Andy Weatherall remix on second disc too.
Love the album, massive Scream fan.
GET IT NOW!!