Track Review: Primal Scream – 2013

by Sam Skilton
“You can’t ride two bikes with one arse,” Mani responded last year when asked about the possibility of playing for both Primal Scream and The Stone Roses at the latter’s mammoth Heaton Park reunion. And so it comes to pass that ‘2013’ is the band’s first Mani-less release since 1996.
The first glimpse of the Primals’ tenth album ‘More Light’ (due for release in May) suggests that it could be set to hark back to the times when the band were at their aggressive best. Think ‘XTRMNTR’, particularly ‘Swastika Eyes’.
Beginning like a throbbing war-cry, the track bursts into life about 50 seconds in with a psychedelic saxophone melody which remains for its nine minute entirety. It then proceeds to reel in the listener with its catchiness. The instrumental breakdown between six and seven minutes features a melody at 6:42 which is strangely reminiscent of the middle-eight of U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’.
Lyrically ‘2013’ is as political and ballsy as we have come to expect from the Bobby Gillespie & Co. Crying out about “twenty-first century slaves”, “television propaganda” and “Thatcher’s children”, the song asks: What happened to the voices of dissent? “Getting rich I guess,” mutters Gillespie offhandedly.
By the time the hardened lead-singer is repeatedly bellowing out the chorus of “Twenty-thirteen, twenty-thirteen!” over the booming rhythm guitar of Andrew Innes, the track has done its job. Coupled with a sinister video (perhaps representing a force-fed modern society which is confined within its own boundaries), ‘2013’ proves itself to be absolutely vital.
But it does stimulate the question: Where are the new kids on the block? With Britain languishing under a coalition government which has sent the nation into disillusionment, why are the old hands leading the way? Do the kids no longer care? Where is the “teenage revolution”?
Release Date: 25 February 2013
Record Label: First International
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