Primal Scream returns to trippy
form on 'Vanishing Point'
Wednesday. August 6. 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 11
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Primal Scream has the right idea.
The group's latest album, "Vanishing
Point," radiates subconscious aesthet-
ics like a cerebral mood ring implant-
ed in your fifth vertebrae. When
Primal Scream hits the right note (and
this occurs often) you tingle and want
to mingle. Unlike Primal Scream's last
rock-infected effort, "Give Out But
Don't Give Up," "Vanishing Point" is
the kind of album that sits down next
to you and offers you a smoke.
It appears that Primal Scream has
decided to pick up where its
excellent 1991 album,
off. "Vanishing Point" °
is loungy, electric,
tripnotic and mellow
to the max. Mop-
topped and waifish
*hissing electronics and
samples on the first sin-
gle, "Kowalski," like the
subliminal voice of your con-
science. With soundcuts from the
1970s Cleavon J. Little film,
"Vanishing Point," and eerie sonic
snakes slithering and shaking their
way into your secret places,
"Kowalski" is iiber-kool and menacing
for a first single.
"Vanishing Point" is a delicious pot-
*pourri of soul, dub, trip-hop and rock.
On tracks like "Get Duffy" and "Star,"
one finds a more soulful side of Primal
Scream, with saxophones, trumpets,
tablas and melodicas criss-crossing
over Gillespie's reverberating vocals.
On other tracks like "If They Move,
Kill 'Em" and "Stuka," one can almost
taste the trip-hop dripping from these
juicy, rhythm-stuffed songs. "If They
Move, Kill 'Em" sounds like the bas-
tard child of Michael Jackson's
"Thriller" and Isaac Hayes' "Shaft."
Many tracks are a mix of all these
styles. "Out Of The Void" has a soulful
skin but an electronic spine. "Stuka" is
a great track that beats you with
thrumming bass and tribal drums sim-
ilar to underground jungle music in the
after-hours dance clubs of Britain.
Gillespie's vocals sound like your
Speak 'n' Spell toy with a tracheotomy.
He electrically gurgles lines like "If
you play with fire / You're gonna get
burned / Some of my friends are gonna
die young / I've got original sin." Jazzy
horns and whirring sounds click and
split their way into your darker
thoughts like circuitous insects
programmed to please you.
"Motorhead," on the
9 upshot, is a gritty,
rock-roid little ditty
which riffs and
slams around while
being stacked up and
backed up by a drum
machine and sampler.
Cheese metal go home!
This track easily declares
that heavy rock can exist
minus the cheddar and swiss.
Another great track on "Vanishing
Point" is the song "Trainspotting"
from the 1996 movie, "Trainspotting,"
based on Irvine Welsh's wonderful
novel bearing the same name.
(Coincidentally, Irvine Welsh wrote
the script for the "Kowalski" video).
"Trainspotting" is an indication of
where music is headed. It breathes
down your neck with echoing drums,
slowed-down samples of moog-master
Jean Jacques Perrey, jazzy Wes
Montgomery-esque guitar parts and
thick bumpin' bass lines.
"Trainspotting" is the musical equiva-
lent of fog slowly rolling down a
mountain at dusk. You can feel the flu-
This is an all-around excellent
album. Primal Scream puts down the
perfect album for late night driving,
clubbing, dancing or hanging out with
friends. "Vanishing Point" is the only
thing worth looking for on the horizon.
Pick it up and you will be saved from
your bad music demons.
The gigantic image of an angry
Rush Limbaugh on the cover does not
adaquately suggest what is on this
CD. Yes, the anti-Rush theme is pre-
sent oil the disc but I didn't think that
someone could write a whole LP of
Rush-bashing songs - that is, until I
listened to "Dittohead."
To categorize these tracks as music
is misleading - itsis much more than
that. It is a combination of spoken
word, background music and speech
samples taken from who knows where
mixed with the occasional brief
The disc is amusing at times,
annoying at others and just plain stu-
pid quite often. The title track, in all
4 remixes, is a rock-esque song with
a spoken word verse. The chorus
vocals sound like Sting after swal-
lowing the Chipmunks. In the remix-
es, Fatso adds a barage of sampled
voices overlayed on top of the back-
Interspersed amongst the tracks
are three spoken conversations -
one of which involves two people
who just saw OJ while smoking mar-
ijuana. The remaining "songs"
sound like many things, all of them
Primal Scream has abducted ex-Stone Roses bassist Mani (second from right) for
its latest album, the psychedelic "Vanishing Point."
ambiguous. "You Give Me a Rush"'s
beat sounds like a stripped-down
version of Michael Jackson's
"Thriller." The seventh track gives
us the phrase "Let's give Rush the
bum's rush / He wants to funk us up"
to the tune of Parliament's "P-Funk."
And the hidden track - announced
loudly on the back cover - con-
tains people speaking backwards
and the only intrumental solo of the
whole disc - a guitar riff of 4 sec-
The LP is brutal to Limbaugh and
is more of a political commentary
than anything. Among other things
said of him are that he is full of "hot
gas." Also, Fatso states to his nemesis,
"You call yourself the mainstream but
you're really the extreme."
I am not entirely convinced this
disc was created by humans. It is pos-
sible that somewhere in America there
is a mixing board with a radio receiv-
er near a zoo with some very creative
monkeys - on crack.
While the disc is amusing, after a
couple tracks the constant berating of
Rush, no matter how much you hate
him, gets tiresome. If you're looking
for a truly unique, strange, musical
(and political) exerience, you've got
one here - just don't play it at par-
- Jack Schillaci
In It For The Money
Supergrass, a power-pop trio from
Oxford, England, has delivered a mar-
velous sophomore album with the
cheekily titled "In It For The Money."
The release showcases the band's hav-
ing improved its chops and control of
tempo from its 1995 debut, "I Should
Coco," but without sacrificing any of
its youthful confidence or charms.
Guitarist and singer Gaz Coombes
- whose facial features and impres-
sive sideburns would make him the
perfect candidate for a starring role in
a remake of "Planet Of The Apes" -
synchronizes magnificently with
bassist Micky Quinn and drummer
Danny Goffey throughout the album.
Quinn and Goffey add several more
dimensions of skill than they did on
the more simple and direct "Coco,'
even serving up a mean amount of
funk on the first single, "Cheapskate."
Other highlights include the title
track, which cuts off suddenly into the
explosive "Richard III;" the extreme-
ly catchy, joyous "Tonight;" the hit-
ting-on-all-cylanders stomp of "Sun
Hits The Sky;" and the organ-driven
fun of "Going Out."
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