Primal Scream: Country Girl

Bobby and his gang head back into the Deep South

Here we stand, then, on the brink of the next phase. Ever since their birth, crawling from a cave of jagged feedback and mushroom-cloud hair in the early-’80s, through their many incarnations as Chelsea-booted jangle-popsters, ecstasy-fried acid house visionaries, snake-hipped Southern rock aristocracy, and most recently, trance terrorists, Primal Scream have been unknowable, unstoppable: shape-shifters, skin-shedders, forever ahead of the curve.

At first, ‘Country Girl’ feels like a Scream oddity, in that it represents both a look back to past glories, as well as a step forward. But if ‘Evil Heat’ found the Scream in fever’s grip, bombed out and beaten down by Bush’n’Blair, the first single from new album ‘Riot City Blues’ is pure regression therapy – the sound of a band diving back into rock’n’roll right at the source. “Never get to bed! Never get to heaven!” barks Bobby Gillespie, in a tweaked-up Dylan drawl. That calls the cue to a cackling slab of haywire blues rock’n’roll that reawakens the ghost of the Scream’s ancient indie-disco hit ‘Rocks’ – a fist-punching anthem that maintains the band’s all-night-long manifesto, but somehow manages to squeeze in a ragged mandolin solo along the way.

Oh, and this song’s uncool secret? Well, as any good Scot knows, strip away the Confederacy flags and croc skin and you’ll find this isn’t really nuke-bomb rock’n’roll, but The Proclaimers’ ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ dosed up on moonshine and howling at the sky.