Opening an album with a nine-minute track declaring the year of release as a hook might be an unusual and bold move for any band, but for legendary Scottish alt-rockers Primal Scream such a move may have been absolutely necessary.
Since their breakthrough record, Screamadelica, released in 1991, Primal Scream have struggled to make good on their early promise, turning many critics and fans off with their follow-ups and have been clambering to stay a relevant part of the current musical landscape. More Light, their tenth and latest release, maybe the record that finally brings them bursting back to the forefront.
The snarling, horn-laden opening track 2013 does go a little further than simply reminding listeners that the group continues to operate, providing an eerily prescient political message against present-day Thatcherites and an insightful and timely takedown of modern Britain, heralding the return of a culturally conversant Primal Scream for the ‘10s.
The second single from the album and a definite highlight, It’s Alright, It’s OK, rounds off the album with a light-hearted riff and a possibly-ironic splash of optimism in the title hook, showing that while doom and gloom still pervade in music as in life, Scream isn’t willing to let it weigh them down completely.
Straddling a plethora of musical styles, including the dance-infused garage rock with which they made the name, More Light is a record that feels urgent and somehow necessary, suggesting that perhaps their more recent slips into fluff were required interludes for the band to wind down slightly before returning with full force. The five wilderness years that have past since the disappointing, arena-baiting Beautiful Future have served the band well, allowing an explosive and intelligent record to gestate.
More Light is available now.