Primal Scream - '2013'

The first track to be taken from their tenth album 'More Light'

Tomas Correa Arce
Photo: Tomas Correa Arce
Jesus, what is it with Kevin Shields and his unrelenting insistence on releasing music? It's just release, release, release with that guy. Give us a rest Kev! But no, here he is again, smearing packs of howling wolverine guitars over Primal Scream's new song '2013', a nine-minute yelparama (of which only four minutes has yet to surface) that artfully bridges the gap between their recent tech-pop preferences and the sonic freakzone of their late-90s masterpiece 'XTRMNTR'.

Driving along on the back of a warped saxophone refrain, urgent space-age backbeats and Shields' magnificent phasing guitar scree, '2013' finds Gillespie at his politicized best, delivering a state-of-the-downtrodden-nation address. "21st century slaves! A peasant underclass!" he hisses, bemoaning the fact that "every generation buys the lie just like the one before!" As he barks rousing slogans about teenage revolutions and rock'n'roll nations, targets "corruption" and "television propaganda", berates "Thatcher's children" and the chairman of BP ("guilty of war crimes") and urges us to "remember Robespierre" the left-wing French revolutionary leader with an itchy guillotine finger, Bobby is sparking the wave of musical revolt we'd been expecting from riot-kettled, benefit-capped, horsemeat-bloated Britain under the coalition.

It's just a little frustrating that it's old gits like the Scream that are leading the charge while our young pretenders sing about wanting to be best friends or just recycle old Howlin' Wolf songs. Like Bobby sings, "what happened to the voices of dissent? They're getting rich, I guess/Become a part of the establishment". But if '2013', with its ultramodern sonic sweeps and hyper-bolshy rhetoric, is saying anything it's 'the fight-back starts now, so either speak up or get out of the way'. '2013' could just be the most important song of the century, if we let it.
Mark Beaumont


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