Primal Scream: More Light – review

(1st International)

As ever, the ghosts of the past haunt Primal Scream; the pleasure this time is that they are not the ghosts of other bands' pasts. More Light drips with echoes – some faint, some booming – of Screamadelica, be they moods, specific sounds, or even It's Alright, It's OK's reconfiguration of Movin' on Up. There's one genuine masterpiece here: River of Pain blends psychedelic folk into a faintly north African atmosphere, and throws in an astonishing orchestral breakdown, a sunrise cutting through the fog. The more careful Primal Scream sound, the better they are: Turn Each Other Inside Out's precise and interlocking electric guitar lines are a million miles from the default Stonesisms that make them seem like parodists when they're being lazy. That said, by comparison with its strong opening and ending, there's a distinct sag in the middle – More Light is a very long album – and Bobby Gillespie's lyrics still read like he's been playing with his urban apocalypse fridge magnets: no one else could sing "Police station crackhouse zombies" with a straight face.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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