Primal Scream - Vanishing Point (Sony)
It's 6 years since Primal Scream rewrote the rock handbook with
"Screamedelica". In the interim they’ve given us the
horrendous piece of shit that was 1994's "Give Out But Don't Give
Up", which saw them reinvent themselves as a retro-glam act.
Thankfully, "Vanishing Point" is a return to utilising
technology, but that’s where the comparison with "Screamadelica"
ends. Whereas the former was a cutting-edge celebration of rock, house
and techno, "Vanishing Point" is a far rawer, almost
The smooth, seamless fusion of sounds which defined
"Screamedelica" is replaced by a sparse, bass-driven style.
"Burning Wheel" and "Get Duffy" get the ball rolling
in a patchy, minimalist fashion before the driving industrial pulse of
"Kowalski" kicks in.
Primal Scream are aiming for a claustrophobic atmosphere which they
don't always achieve. The guitars hiss like steam from a
pressure-cooker, but the whole thing just never boils over.
The mellow chimes of "Star" and "Trainspotting" hint
at the mellower, sublime side of Primal Scream, but as with the heavier
numbers, they promise more than they deliver.
Lemmy was apparently rather miffed with their redoing of
"Motorhead", and so he should be. It's pointless and
ineffective. "Medication" is also unnecessary, sounding like
a left-over from Iggy and the Stooges "Raw Power" album.
For all the faults, I still like "Vanishing Point", probably
more than I should. It's obvious their hearts are in the right place,
if only they could get their heads together as well.
by Niall Byrne