Its appeal is unquestionable...
Huw Jones
10:43 21st July 2008

Not many bands with 26 years of history can claim consistent self-reinvention album after album; unless of course you’re Primal Scream. A band that have seen multiple line-up changes, battled drug addiction, courted political controversy and dabbled in everything from acid house psychedelics, complex dance, euphoric rock, dark-electro and a whole lot more besides. OK, so it hasn’t always worked in their favour, but nine albums later and ‘Beautiful Future’ is one that further vindicates Gillespie & Co’s autonomous worth. Reinvention in this case is the Scream’s stab at pop, but as you’d expect, there’s a lot more to it than that and any pop content is left solely at the bands discretion.

Complimented by a heady genre crunching mix of signature electro fuzz and accelerated rock n roll, the angular guitars and electro splashed charm of ‘Beautiful Future’, ‘The Glory Of Love’ and ‘Uptown’ juxtaposed with Gillespie’s intoxicating vocal haze and inscrutable lyrics fuel a double edged euphoria. And while the Riot City Blues familier ‘Zombie Man’ placed alongside the vast snatches of smeared emptiness in ‘Beautiful Summer’ reassures, Mooney and Mounfield’s precise percussion-bass partnership keeps the breakneck electro-rock of ‘Cant Go Back’ and ‘Suicide Bomb’ from mutating into serotonin shifting paranoia.

Primal Scream are no strangers to collaboration (previous guest appearances include Kate Moss and Robert Plant to name a few) and ‘Beautiful Future’ is no exception. CSS’s Lovefoxx gets in on the act with the claustrophobic MDMA shadow throb of ‘I Love To Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt)’ as does British folk-rock legend Linda Thompson who features on the simple, stunning and beautiful cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ballad ‘Over & Over’, before Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme’s lip-smacking guitar skills shatter the illusion with ‘Necro Hex Blues’, the end result of a Thin Lizzy tribute jam between Homme and the Scream’s very own Andrew Innes. 

So the all important question; is it any good? Of course it is and although it won’t rank alongside their best, its appeal is unquestionable and the merits of album number nine can only be measured by three decades of incredibly high self set standards.

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