This is somewhere beyond excellent and every year it sounds better and better (just finished listening to the whole album on my Denon headphones, in fact, and it was like hearing it new all over again.)
Have to agree with other reviewers - this album is awesome - has hardly been out of player since I bought it! Can't believe I left it so long before buying it - may have been put off by their Mcr Apollo show at the time of VP's release - was pretty shambolic compared with their normal first class gigs!! Great stuff - go buy it!...anyway, back to the medication.....
I'm sure that many will disagree, but I think that this is the best album that Primal Scream have ever made. All the rest fade into insignificance and are pretty damn poor anyway. Instrumentally/Electronically led and not far away from the sound of Death in Vegas. Once you listen, you'll know where many of those old tunes you always hear come from. The dub-version (Echo Dek)is a close second to this album, but if you prefer dub, you may prefer it. I have both, and I love both of them.
The addition of former Stone Rose Mani to the line-up certainly invigorated Primal Scream, as did Martin Duffy's contribution to The Charlatans' 'Tellin'Stories.' The mis-fire that was 'Give Out But Don't Give Up' (territory they have mysteriously returned to on new LP 'Riot City Blues')was banished by 'Vanishing Point', an LP that came on the back of their Irvine Welsh/On-U-Sound single for Euro-96 (prediciting the dub-territory of 'Echo Dek') and 'Trainspotting' for the soundtrack of the classy adaptation of Welsh's classic debut novel.
Initial single 'Kowalski' was an odd choice to return with - blending industrial dub (recalling the Adrian Sherwood-produced 'Twitch' by Ministry), the gothic, Krautrock & samples from the classic 1971 road movie 'Vanishing Point' (up there with 'Two Lane Blacktop', 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' & 'Punishment Park'). One of their greatest moments and even better in its live incarnation, which features a more animated Bobby Gillespie and a My Bloody Valentine-style loop of euphoric-sound. Second single 'Star' featured the late Augustus Pablo and applied dub to the Stones-territory of earlier songs like 'You're Just Too Dark to Care' and 'Cry Myself Blind.' It does appear to believe that Rosa Parks was dead - in 1997?
The third single and opening track 'Burning Wheel' is one of my favourite Primal Scream songs, despite the fact its opening appears to have been pilfered from Can's 'Future Days'! A great production that veers from channel-to-channel, featuring some wild organ from former Felt-keyboardist Martin Duffy - in line with the great 'Get Duffy' & his replacement work for the late Rob Collins in the Charlatans. The first half of the album goes out strongly with 'Out of the Void', which is a darker relative of their 'Screamadelica'-era, fitting with their later allusions to Joy Division, PIL and The Pop Group.
'Stuka' appears to reflect Gillespie & co's two decades too late flirtation with WWII imagery (Throbbing Gristle, Siouxsie Sioux, Joy Division & Keith Moon all there first!), though I think this was put down to Andrew Innes then obssession with 'The World at War'! Another hypnotic blend of dub, electronica and psychedelia, fitting well alongside the Chemical Brothers' best moment 'The Private Psychedelic Reel', the great Unkle-remix of The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony' & Liam Howlett's remix of Method Man's 'Release Yo'Self.' 'Medication' gets right the Faces/Stones-thing they were doing on the previous LP (only 'Rocks' could be argued to have been a success)- though I'm quite intrigued by its current incarnation that is slower & recycles the 'Keep On Keepin'On'-riff from Joy Division's 'Interzone.' The cover of Motorhead meanwhile, is the sole duff moment and an obvious b-side - I'm sure Lemmy was mortified!
The album goes out strongly with the epic soundtrack piece 'Trainspotting' which sounds like it fuses 'Screamadlica' with dub and John Barry and the bleak 'Long Life' - which feels like a 90s-relative of 'Closer'-Joy Division and sounds like a precursor of 2000's 'Keep Your Dreams' (which was essentially Joy Division do 'Higher Than the Sun' with title from Suicide!). 'Vanishing Point' has dated well and alongside 'Screamadelica' and 'Xtrmntr' stand as their key albums. It was certainly one of the highlights of the late 90s alongside Royal Trux's 'Accelerator', Spiritualized's 'Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space', Screaming Trees' 'Dust', Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea', The Flaming Lips' 'Zaireeka', Meat Beat Manifesto's 'Subliminal Sandwich', Ghostface Killah's 'Ironman' & baader meinhof's eponymous LP. Pity 'Riot City Blues', 'When the Bomb Drops', is otherwise miles apart from it...