Primal Scream – Chaosmosis Review

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Scottish rock band Primal Scream have released their 11th album titled ‘Chaosmosis’. The band was formed in 1982 in Glasgow by Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie, however the band now consists of Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, Martin Duffy, Simone Butler, and Darrin Mooney. Since this is their 11th album, Primal Scream already know who they are and what they like. It seems as though for this album, they are displaying their talents, and perfecting their musical arrangement skills. ‘Chaosmosis’ is a very well put together album, with one or two shining examples.

The album begins with ‘Trippin’ On Your Love’, a cleverly titled track with lots of percussion and a psychedelic vibe. This opening is a fun, upbeat way to start the album. Next is ‘(Feeling Like A) Demon Again’, which starts off with a playful electronic tune. This is contrasted with the monotone sullen vocals, which picks up in the chorus, turning out to be a cool alternative track. It also has excellent use of the keyboard to compliment the tone of the song. ‘I Can Change’ is the third track, which starts off as a slow electronic track. The song builds, adding different layers to create a complex sounding track with high pitched vocals. As the song goes on, the vocals become more and more stressed, which gives an excellent effect. ‘100% Or Nothing’ is next, which begins with quiet guitar. Suddenly you hear a big bang of the drums and the song comes into full swing, which fits well with the title of the song. This track faintly resembles a modernised power ballad, which Primal Scream pull off very well. ‘Private Wars’ is a guitar prominent track, which makes it sound quite folksy. The female vocalist provides a pleasant accompaniment to the chilled out sounds of the song. This isn’t one of my favourites but is still a decent track.

The next song is ‘Where The Light Gets In’, an alternative rock track with an 80’s vibe to it. Primal Scream mixed rock and electronica to make an enjoyable combination. ‘When The Blackout Meets The Fallout’ is more of a dark sounding track. The electronic sounds are melded with vocals edging closer to screams as the song continues. This is a very energetic track which stands out from the rest of the album. ‘Carnival Of Fools’ opens to simple electronic tune reminiscent of 90’s video games, which continues throughout the track. This is met with high pitched vocal harmonies, making it quite a sweet track. ‘Golden Rope’ is next, which is a promising alt-rock song with uplifting backing vocals. Towards the end however, it becomes a little bit repetitive and too long to be as good as it could be. The final track is ‘Autumn In Paradise’, which mixes guitar, percussion and hints of electronica to create a solid track which rounds off the album well. ‘Autumn in Paradise’ really shows off the band’s talents in this track, as everything comes together smoothly.

Overall, this is a good effort for Primal Scream. Their talents are clearly shown in this album. They’ve been around long enough to know what they like and what their fans like, so I would say keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.

Primal Scream – Chaosmosis = 8/10

Dionne Thompson

DIIV – Is The Is Are Review

Brooklyn Indie Rockers DIIV return with a follow up on their 2012 album Oshin with their second studio album Is the Is Are. Their particularly predictable strand of Indie slanted dream-pop has not been something ridiculed like their counterparts Swim Deep and Peace etc. At the same time they are far from the standard of Beach House or even the Horrors in mastering the genre. Oshin was the solid debut all of their British ‘B-Town’ counterparts didn’t get as their sound had much more substance to it and an air of genuine quality. The notorious second album is where your reputation is cemented however.

 

‘Bent (Roi’s Song)’ very much follows the path of many Indie groups who dip their toe into Psychedelica. The loose riffs echo modestly across the track and are underpinned as always by a steady and lightly rumbling bass line. The nonchalant and dazed vocals ink into the instrumentation and it is perhaps because of this, the song progresses uncomfortably and indefinitely until you get the guitars hook in the chorus. Musically, it has a little more mystery to it then most of their Indie counterparts produce. ‘Dopamine’ offers you those loose riffs again with a swooning echo of a vocal which is presented as a little indefinite next to the rest of the instrumentation. Once replicated across the whole track, the whole song sounds unsure of itself until they pour in some ringing guitar solos into the mix and the rhythm becomes more solid. ‘Under the Sun’ is a track with more of a kick and tangible structure to it with more solid percussion behind it. The frayed vocals work better in this environment as it gives an element of depth and light and shade to the track. It is completely plucked from a late 80s indie disco however, so if offer nothing in the way of novelty, but it is a keen rocker of a song. ‘Is the Is Are’ is mirrors TOY but with a little less psychedelia and with those wispy vocals. The tones and variations of the instrumentation are more prominent though. They offer more than one dimension with this track.

 

‘Blue Boredom’ offers up the same instrumentation and rhythm format that’s on offer in pretty much every track on the album. Sky Ferreira offers up a whispered vocal and provides a welcome variation in the vocal department. You find near identical sounds on ‘Incarnate Devil’ minus the guitar solo they borrowed from a couple of their singles. ‘Healthy Moon’, Loose Ends’ and ‘Dust’ regurgitate sounds from the album you’re already familiar with and just familiar with in general. They would have been able to conceal the lack of variation from track to track with a ten track album, but at seventeen it is a long, tedious slog to get through. ‘Waste of Breath’ is welcome at the end for a couple of new ideas like a distorted guitar solo, but the fact you find joy in such a simple thing is perhaps a clue to the quality of the album. They have really took a step back here with such a lack of imagination and dynamism. An echoed vocal and loose riffs aren’t going to get you anywhere in 2016 and someone should have told DIIV that long, long ago.

 

DIIV – Is The Is Are = 5.5/10

 

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

This Weeks Music Video with PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Coldplay, Primal Scream with Sky Ferreira, Vince Staples and FIDLAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single Review – Primal Scream and Sky Ferreira – Where the Light Gets In

 

Chaosmosis is the title of Primal Scream’s upcoming eleventh studio album and we can expect it on March 18th. Today they released one of the lead singles from the album ‘Where the Light Gets In’ which is an interesting collaboration with Sky Ferreira. The track operates on an 80’s rock-pop aesthetic in which Sky sits comfortably as several of her singles have echoed the style. For the most part, Keith’s and Sky’s vocals gel when their power and whispered tones find a middle ground. From there you appreciate the functionality of the duo. The track is little more than a functional and hook driven track, but it does serve that purpose with vigour.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Sunday Suggestion – Sky Ferreira – Lost In My Bedroom

Sky Ferreira  released her debut studio LP with Night Time, My Time, in October last year in what turned out to be a very solid start for Sky in spite of the various admin and organisational set backs she had to face in having to turn a possible debut album into an EP on several occasions. What is left, is an album of epitomized pop and Indie Rock with the commercial shine deliberately taken from it. This is also true fro her lyrics, which are deeply reflective and close to home. At some points in the album you are met with oozing pop hooks and melodies and with songs like the title track, you’re met with dark and gritty imagery and sounds. Perhaps the most light you find on the album is the track ‘Lost In My Bedroom’, which came out long before her album. In a style bordering on Dance Rock; it’s beat is hammered out in a pulsating, distorted fashion which allow for warping, modulated and reverberating synths to blast out from behind the main beat with monologue chords and jangling 80’s riffs ringing out atop of it all. Sky’s vocal is  harmonious in the middle ground and is manipulated with a slight drone to achieve the subtle washed out feel for the entire track. Pop music that shows lyrical vulnerability and production alternatives to give it far more raw substance to the plastic pop of recent years.

This Weeks Music Video with The Horrors, Sky Ferreira, RÜFÜS and Marissa Nadler

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The Horrors – So Now You Know

Sky Ferreira – I Blame Myself

RÜFÜS – Sundream

Marissa Nadler – Drive

 

 

 

Single Review – Sky Ferreira – I Blame Myself

Sky Ferreira is someone I failed to review last year which was a bit of a crime on my part considering her debut album Night Time, My Time was pretty damn good. Even more so for a debut. It was pop music at it’s finest and at it’s deepest depths and it was well worth the praise. ‘I Blame Myself’ is the latest single from the album and is the most ‘light hearted’ from it and the most true to pop norms and standards, yet it’s still well beyond your average pop drone. The song is a delicate object musically; that’s made up of a soft edged dance beat and gently bouncing synths that add a fine layer of melody for Sky to add her harmonious and equally resonant and pleasing on the ear vocal. The lyrics are a personal exploration and she makes no attempt to hide or mislead from that with how she says “I blame myself for my reputation” amongst other genuine lyrical moments. The same is also true for aspects of her video too. The song fades out into several vocal echoes that draw across one another and this leads smoothly towards the final chorus which was ever so subtly built up to a peak before it loosens it’s strings and fades out. A great track and one that couldn’t be more different to the title track but one that remains lyrically enthralling.