Primal Scream: Chaosmosis | Virgin Media
Primal Scream: Chaosmosis

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Thirty years of wildly disparate albums have taught us that you're never quite sure what to expect from Primal Scream. OK, that faux-rebellious title is vintage 'Scream, but the contents are less certain. Could be neo-punk, could be old-rave, could be pure Stooges seedy rock, who knows?

Their 11th studio album and first since 2013's beefy More Light finds the band nucleus of Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes going full-on pop. While they've never exactly been hardcore, no matter how often 2000's spectacular XTRMNTR veered towards prime punk-metal, this still feels like a significant move. It's as if they've given up a pose, despite Gillespie's studied appearance on the cover.

At times this means songs that are a little too lightweight to truly fly. The vamping piano and pipey synths of Carnival Of Fools fail to do much about the track's essential flimsiness, and while I Can Change's easy (sleazy?) listening sway is beguiling in a sickly kind of way, and its chorus sticks hard, it's still a frippery of a lesser band.

1.	Vito Corleone

They're better when they think bigger, throw off those shackles and really embrace their pop inclinations. Californian sisters Haim (who guested with the band at Glastonbury a couple of years back) join Gillespie on vocals for the extremely baggy Trippin' On Your Love, corny but fun. They're back for the oddly glitzy post-punk of 100% Of Nothing, another highpoint, and Gillespie continues to be down with the kids on Where The Light Gets In, a flashy, kinetic duet with alt. pop star Sky Ferreira.

The album could do without the wimpy psych-folk of Private Wars and New Order-facsimile Autumn In Paradise, but even that finishes on a lovely ambient high. Misgivings aside, Chaosmosis is an exhilarating ride. Primal Scream sound liberated.

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