The chameleonic research path of Primal Scream

The chameleonic research path of Primal Scream

Today is the birthday of the frontman of Primal Scream Bobby Gillespie. Band that was founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1982 and has released eleven albums in their career. The last of which, “Chaosmosis”is dated 2016. Precisely with the review of this album written by Andrea Valentini we send our best wishes to Bobby Gillespie while waiting for a new album from his band.

Eleventh album. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since “Screamadelica” which 25 years ago consecrated Bobby Gillespie’s Primal Scream to commercial success, with a bewitching blend of dance, rock, house, dub, neopsychedelia. Basically a revelation for many, looking for exciting news. But in addition to water, several sound incarnations of the band have also passed through, which in the meantime has explored and broadened its horizons, changing direction several times – with results that are sometimes notable, sometimes less incisive.

This new “Chaosmosis” represents another piece in this chameleon-like path of research, configuring itself as a record that in some ways can recall the attitude of “Screamadelica” for its brightness, the lightness of the sound approach and the pop contemporaneity. But Gillespie & Company have tried as much as possible to avoid quoting the tried and tested, assembling – precisely – this album with a careful eye on what is happening around them: and it is no coincidence that they have called to their court, as guests and collaborators , also Haim and Sky Ferreira – two realities that, like it or not, represent a cross-section of what the “new school” pop of the 21st century is.

At first listen, “Chaosmosis” sounds like a light cocktail, one of those that are enjoyed with pleasure to start an evening destined to grow: captivating melodies, atmospheres that are never oppressive or anxiety-inducing, lots of polish and a very glossy mood, rock/psychedelic suggestions reduced to minimal, almost impalpable. All of this, however, rendered and shaped with the typical class that Gillespie has demonstrated to possess as an innate gift – and which allows him to wander chameleon-like in the most varied musical worlds (from the Stoogesian protopunk of the beginning, through dance rock, neopsychedelia, pop, southern rock, the Madchester sound…). And the first two thirds of the album are an excellent manifesto that celebrates this special ability, proposing a version that is never banal, nor plasticized/homogenized for market use, of what the definition of pop can evoke in 2016.

The problem is that at the end of the short and tense “When the blackout meets the fallout” something seems to crack. A joke that is really too sugary and easy like “Carnival of fools” casts a shadow on the good things heard up to that point and plunges the band into the limbo of fast food electropop, something that Primal Scream will never be able to, nor have they ever done. wanted to be (we hope). “Golden rope” on the other hand is a good, much more rock piece, with a Stone-like aftertaste or “Give ut but don’t give up”, but in the economy of the album it doesn’t make particular sense. Not to mention the closing of “Autumn in paradise”, pandering, condescending and very Nineties, perhaps even potentially a commercial success, but not in keeping with the spirit of the album.