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Primal Scream finds calm amongst the chaos

Bobby Gillespie (Photo: Sam Christmas)

Over the course of three decades and 11 albums, Scotland’s Primal Scream can do no wrong in the eyes of its audience. The band is raw rock ’n’ roll at its core, and how that manifests itself in each release is changeable, giving Primal Scream both reliability and unpredictability.


The group’s latest studio album, the self-produced Chaosmosis, moves along a groove curve, more synthesizer than guitar driven. This trade-in of instruments returns Primal Scream to its seminal rave-up album, the non-replicable Screamadelica. The inclusion of a cross-section of female voices is a good match-up with the trippy dance vibe of the album. Haim lends fluttery back-ups on two songs: the psychedelic, Chemical Brothers/Happy Mondays referencing opener, “Trippin’ On Your Love,” and the electro-rocking “100% Or Nothing.” Cat’s Eyes’ Rachel Zeffira adds her voice to the stripped back, 12-string acoustic “Private Wars.” On the highlight duet with Sky Ferreira and vocalist Bobby Gillespie, irresistible pop stormer “Where The Light Gets In,” the two contrasting styles—one sultry and taunting, the other low and seductive—egg each other in turns, verging into a glittery chant on the chorus.

The interplay between Gillespie and central member Andrew Innes has standout moments, like the pulsing “(Feeling Like A) Demon Again” and the frantic “When The Blackout Meets The Fallout.” When the group toys with synth-pop and krautrock elements, such as on the metronomic “Carnival Of Fools,” it pushes Chaosmosis further into retro territory, which is not a bad place to be.

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