Primal Scream are a contradiction, wrapped in confusion, broadcasting on a frequency nobody can quite tune into.
Yet, somehow, it works: at their best, this group is a transcendent experience, sluicing those carefully explored influences into something daring, new.
‘More Light’ does, for the most part, live up to this. Coming five years after their previous LP, 2008’s ‘Beautiful Future’, ‘More Light’ finds its makers with plenty of ideas to toy with.
For example, the nine-minute opener ‘2013’ echoes the jaded glamour of vintage Roxy Music, but gradually shifts into free jazz territories.
Almost every facet of Primal Scream is on show here: ‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’ (video below) is a gospel-tinged Faces-style rocker in the vein of ‘Country Girl’. But it’s the more experimental side that really impresses.
‘Tenement Kid’ and ‘Invisible City’ seethe with the anger that fuelled 2000’s ‘XTRMNTR’ album, except now there’s a righteous edge.
Sure, Bobby Gillespie is aping his heroes, but there’s a sense here that the Glasgow-born singer is using his record collection as means to communicate his rage.
A sprawling document, more of an old-fashioned double-LP than an iTunes listing, ‘More Light’ is, in short, an inspirational return. By no means their most straightforward endeavour, it finds Primal Scream covering ground they know well as well as exploring fresh territory.
Sure, few will love everything on here but the hubris, yet the sprawling mess that is ‘More Light’ can’t help but impress. To place it within the band’s own record collection: this is their ‘Sandinista!’.
Words: Robin Murray
– – –
– – –
Get the best of Clash on your iPhone – download the app here