Last year’s Second Nature found The Primevals in quite coruscating form as they railed into the eye of the storm of malfunction that seemed to epitomise life on Plague Island. Wasting little time they were soon back in the studio; the result being New Trip and its further stack of vital bulletins and declamations.
Nine new, urgent missives echoing back and forth through past, present, and future, where influences and precursors (often, in truth, former contemporaries) swell the concatenation of garage-rock, funk, avant garde, and much, much more, comprising the heady melange providing a perfect setting for Michael Rooney’s compelling vocals .
‘Hey Love’ starts the show off at rattling pace; an object lesson in high octane rock’n’roll and an exemplar to a myriad of pretenders. ‘Searching In The Shadows’ and ‘Intrusive Thought’ then exude claustrophobic garagey atmospheres through which the two guitarists – Tom Rafferty and Martyn Rogers – and John Honeyman’s keyboards thrillingly probe their way.
There’s a intensely greasy country dark about ‘It’s All That Matters’ where slide guitar combines with the relentless percussive drive; then piano announces ‘The Euthanasia Of The Youth’; “stealing from people with broken souls/born too late to ever get old”; a clear revisiting of a key thematic concern of Second Nature.
‘Gimme Gimme Some Action’ is both a great recycling of two classic song titles, and a mighty piece of freakbeat, with Rooney’s harmonica entering the fray towards the climax. The harp returns on ‘Only You’ along with some potent synth, following some further incisive slide on ‘The County Line’.
The title track rounds off the album in a near eight-minute tour de force, where guitars stretch and writhe, while the guesting alto sax of Kornelijus Pukinskis forces everything further and further out there. It’s a real thrill, and if The Primevals keep up their current level of productivity the hope is they’ll bring us more in this vein soon.
After the inevitable hiatus The Primevals are out playing a few gigs again. This weekend finds them at London’s Hope & Anchor on Friday, and in Gateshead on Saturday. Go if you can.