Primevals. Heavy War.

Revitalised Glasgow garage rockers The Primevals showed that they had the energy of most bands half their age on the ultra cool and shiny blitzkreig that was Disinhibitor, their first major release in more than a decade back at the beginning of 2011. Disinhibitor packed 18 songs into its fist, a helter skelter listen indeed that left the listener punchdrunk by the end. Heavy War however adds some dizzyingly intoxicating strung out grooves in addition to the short sharp shocks one expects. The return of original guitarist Tom Rafferty and the addition of Martyn Rodger (guitar, keyboards) to the line up does little to change the basic Primevals’ template which maintains their allegiance to the likes of the MC5, The Cramps and The Gun Club. The rock solid rhythm section of John Honeyman and Paul Bridges piledrives away while Mickey Rooney continues to communicate with the ghosts of Jim Morrison and Jeffrey Lee Pierce as the shamanistic front man of this inspired band. The line up change however does afford a leaner guitar sound, less crunchy, more corkscrewed with the guitars adding a swampier touch to several of the songs.
Howling from the gate with the energetic Way Beyond Tore Up which is MC5 personified they simultaneously fly the flag and burn it with a song that transports the listener to Detroit circa ’68 as the guitars spit and burn. A mutant Bo Diddley meets Captain Beefheart riff introduces the slick Predeliction For the Blues with slide guitar sliding way off the Richter scale as the song gathers momentum much like Kowalski before he hits the barriers in Vanishing Point. Hit The Peaks is another turbo charged careen down the highway with the band going at it pell mell with Rooney crooning a la Iggy Pop surrounded by snarly guitars and he remains inside his Iggy skin for the blustering boogie of High Rich Times. Further shades of NY punk abound elsewhere with The Dead Boys summoned up on Rightful Duty however the Primevals are no mere copycats as they celebrate their forebears and build on their foundations. One could mention the Seeds and especially The 13th Floor Elevators as guiding lights here as they fuse garage band punk with psychedelia. The Lure of Desire’s swirling organ is certainly trippy while Keep Coming Back, the only song to feature acoustic guitar is reminiscent of the first tentative attempts of sixties SF bands to marry the sounds in their heads with the songs they were playing. They also capture a beautiful and gutsy swollen Flamin’ Groovies’ guitar sound towards the end of Undertow.
The sunny side of psychedelic music, particularly the LA type, always had a dark underbelly which fed into the songs of The Doors and Arthur Lee. The band capture this sense of menace on Coming From The Hills, a brooding number that recalls the panic at the poolside’s following the Manson gang murders with some switchblade guitar to drive the point home. Two minor epics on the album capture this confused mixture of wonderment and dread, mind experiments and the intrusion of reality. Don’t be Afraid to Cry is a trip into the twilight zone , a haunted howl with Rooney searching for sensation, stimulation, elevation, deviation as the band locks into a stoned groove and the guitarists mainline Robby Krieger with their woozy delta arabesque guitar swirlings. In A Violent Way tops this however as they switch from Doors to Stooges mood and lay down a driving and incessant riff that pummels away without an end in sight. Rooney’s lyrics are minimal, repetitive, mirroring the music and he adds some fine saxophone squeals to the musical mayhem. It’s a great ending to a great album as the Primevals stake their claim to be the best leather clad rock’n’rollers who are big in France while wiping out any home contenders.
Heavy War is available on CD and vinyl from the band’s website and keep an eye out as there are some local gigs coming up.

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2 thoughts on “Primevals. Heavy War.

  1. Pingback: The Primevals. Tales Of Endless Bliss. Closer Records | Blabber 'n' Smoke

  2. Pingback: The Primevals. Dislocation. Triple Wide | Blabber 'n' Smoke

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