sorted magazine - issue 3

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Primal Scream - Vanishing Point (Sony)

It's 6 years since Primal Scream rewrote the rock handbook with "Screamedelica". In the interim they’ve given us the horrendous piece of shit that was 1994's "Give Out But Don't Give Up", which saw them reinvent themselves as a retro-glam act.

Thankfully, "Vanishing Point" is a return to utilising technology, but that’s where the comparison with "Screamadelica" ends. Whereas the former was a cutting-edge celebration of rock, house and techno, "Vanishing Point" is a far rawer, almost undercooked, affair.

The smooth, seamless fusion of sounds which defined "Screamedelica" is replaced by a sparse, bass-driven style. "Burning Wheel" and "Get Duffy" get the ball rolling in a patchy, minimalist fashion before the driving industrial pulse of "Kowalski" kicks in.

Primal Scream are aiming for a claustrophobic atmosphere which they don't always achieve. The guitars hiss like steam from a pressure-cooker, but the whole thing just never boils over.

The mellow chimes of "Star" and "Trainspotting" hint at the mellower, sublime side of Primal Scream, but as with the heavier numbers, they promise more than they deliver.

Lemmy was apparently rather miffed with their redoing of "Motorhead", and so he should be. It's pointless and ineffective. "Medication" is also unnecessary, sounding like a left-over from Iggy and the Stooges "Raw Power" album.

For all the faults, I still like "Vanishing Point", probably more than I should. It's obvious their hearts are in the right place, if only they could get their heads together as well.

by Niall Byrne