Album: Primal Scream

Dirty Hits, Columbia
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The Independent Culture

It would have taken a prophet of extraordinary prescience to predict in 1987, when Primal Scream released their psychedelic-garage debut, Sonic Flower Groove, that the band would become the foremost exponents of crossover trash-dance rock'n'roll, a title they have held since the release of Screamadelica, in 1991, the point at which this compilation starts. Few bands have so fruitfully surfed the wave of changing rock modes through the Nineties, as the Scream sought out pointers to future musical developments while retaining a firm grip on the basics of rock'n'roll - a form neatly defined by the front man, Bobby Gillespie, as "a place where [outsiders] can attack reality with beautiful noise, turn concrete nothingness into poetry". The collection opens like the best Stones album since 1973, with gospelly raunch-rock anthems such as "Movin' on up" and "Rocks", and closes like the best Krautrock album since 1975, with the motorik grooves of songs such as "Shoot Speed - Kill Light" and "Autobahn 66". Throughout, the band's spirit seems pure and clear, untainted by pastiche or parody, so even when, as on "Rocks", they're as retro as Oasis or Lenny Kravitz, it is somehow more acceptable, deficient in none of the aspects that gave the Stones' original models their potency.