published: 19 /
Excellent country-blues influenced eighth album from Primal Scream, back after a four year break from recording
With a four year break since the last album, Primal Scream have finally released their 8th album ‘Riot City Blues’. For a band that have been going for 22 years (Oh, yes, Primal Scream formed in 1984 in Glasgow) and have always managed to secure a successful following, there are always lots of expectations.
The opening track of 'Riot City Blues' and its first single ‘Country Girl’ was aired on radio and television almost two months before the album was released. You will have probably heard it at least 55 times by now so have a rough idea what this album is about. The country rock n’ roll of ‘Country Girl’ is, however, only a fraction of what the whole album sounds like.
There has been a lot of criticism claiming that Primal Scream have written a country-blues album before with ‘Give Out, But Don’t Give In’. I believe Primal Scream have brought this on themselves as during their existence they have changed music style with great success many times, whether with the psychedelic ‘Screamadelica’, the twee ‘Sonic Flower Groove’ or the industrial ‘Exterminator’. This is partly the reason why they have gone on for so many years continuing to enlarge their fan base.
Still, you never heard the critics accusing the Ramones of writing another punk album, did you? And they went on for 22 years. Perhaps Primal Scream should take all this fuss more as a compliment.
‘Country Girl’ opens the album with great energy. The song has a strong country vibe but also the rock n’ roll attitude of “live fast, die young”. ‘Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar’ has both of these as well. It starts with a clear-sounding guitar and Bobby Gillespie's lead vocals, but once it hits the main chorus it kicks into a faster gear with a choir joining Bobby on vocals:
Oh baby baby you’re doing alright.
Oh baby baby you’re doing alright.”
The music turns dark when ‘When The Bomb Drops’ comes on. It has the devilish sound of the underworld provided by the uncompromising sound of bass guitar and Bobby’s voice embodying the devil himself.
‘The 99th Floor’ and ‘We’re Gonna Boogie’ take the music back to more of the country rock n’ roll sound. There is not much complicity in the way all instruments come together in the song. As Primal Scream's bass guitarist, Mani, said in an interview for MTV “Songs are written live and designed to plug in and play anywhere.”
To keep things interesting ‘Dolls (Sweet Rock And Roll)’ is a duet with Bobby and the Kills' Alison Mosshart . Mosshart sings in a great mysterious voice accompanied with music which recalls the band's electronic fifth album ‘Vanishing Point’ in its origins.
The last track of the album ‘Sometimes I Feel So Lonely’ closes the lively album with a peaceful and gentle tune. To be honest after such a storm of energy it is well needed.
So there you have it! ‘Riot City Blues’ is an album with lots of genes from the past but Primal Scream have never pushed country to this extent before. I will take this even further, saying that the album builds up on a lot of the quality from all the band’s past albums and then discovers a new quality as well.
Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar
When the Bomb Drops
The 99th Floor
We're Gonna Boogie
Hell's Comin' Down
Sometimes I Feel So Lonely
Stone Ya to the Bone
To Live Is to Fly
Gimme Some Truth
It's Not Enough
Zeppelin Blues While Thinking of Robert Parker
Gamblin' Bar Room Blues
Country Girl (Beans and Fatback Mix)
Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar (Live @ XFM)
Bloods (2 Lone Swordsmen Mix)
Dolls ((Some Spiders White Light Returned With Thanks) Demo Mix)
Sometimes I Feel So Lonely (Bomb the Bass Remix)
Stone My Soul
Carry Me Home
Have a Listen:-