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Primal Scream Primer

by Dan Weiss

Primal Scream Primer

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Few bands have shed more skins than the intriguingly chameleonic Primal Scream, who've had their ups and downs while making plenty of music to admire, from the '80s to the present. They began during Madchester, winning the very first Mercury Prize for such proto-rave anthems as "Loaded" and "Slip Inside This House" before going straight rock on "Jailbird" and "Rocks" and delving into total dub-bathtub psychedelia for "Kowalski" and "Burning Wheel." The 2000s began with their career peak, XTRMNTR, a grungy, apocalyptic, big-beat masterpiece with such barnburners as "Kill All Hippies," "Blood Money" and the hypnotic Neu! homage "Shoot Speed/ Kill Light," plus two versions of the surprising floor-filler "Swastika Eyes" (both essential). They became more industrial with "Miss Lucifer" and poppier with "The Glory of Love." And on the new More Light, they return to their eclectic roots with mariachi horns ("2013") and Stones-y balladry ("Walking with the Beast"). Things can only get weirder.

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