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Shane’s Music Challenge: PRIMAL SCREAM – 1997 – Vanishing Point

| 6 February 2014 | Reply

PRIMAL SCREAM – 1997 – Vanishing Point

Primal Scream - Vanishing Point cover

I’ve always considered Primal Scream’s albums to be unique in the drug they were chiefly using at the time. Maybe that’s because I’m a drinker than a drug user, and certainly I’ve read interviews which render my theory null & void as they say they were on different drugs than my ears have picked up!

Regardless, Vanishing Point to me is the sound of speed.

Upon release the only song previously heard had been Trainspotting, from the album of the movie of the same name. A tripped out piece of music completely at odds with their Give Out But Don’t Give Up album, it was an eye opener and many wondered what the record would be like.

I found myself living and working as a chef in the French Alps by this time, and new hard rock albums were virtually impossible to find in the little village of Argentiere. Desperate for new music, I took the plunge and bought this and Prodigy’s Fat Of The Land and both turned out to be favourites for a while, which I dare say they wouldn’t have been had I a steady stream of more traditional rock music coming through.

The album is full of teeth grinding jams like Burning Wheel, Kowalski (inspired by the movie Vanishing Point, from which The Scream misappropriated their album title), If They Move, Kill ‘Em, the dive bombing Stuka (sorry!), the morning after techno blues Medication, and – most tellingly – a high tech romp through Motorhead’s epochal namesake track about speedfreaks.

But wait – there’s more – the beautiful pop song Star and the indefinable album closer Long Life fit perfectly here, though remain different to all around them.

Best bits – this is an album chock full of highlights, but I’m going to push three forward. Kowalski: tweaking, grinding, trance for rock dudes. Star: perfect pop with a dark musical edge and the brightest lyrics, this nodded to both their Screamadelica and Give Out… albums whilst slotting in perfectly here amongst the madness and badness all around it. Motorhead: because it shows that Lemmy’s songs have so much more depth than his critics would ever credit. I daresay it’s even better than the sloppy, badly produced first Motorhead version AND the spacey Hawkwind version!


Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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