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Primal Scream: Chaosmosis

High-voltage disco-punk heavyweights return with more energy than originality.

Struggling to reclaim their mojo in recent years, following the departure of Mani and Kevin Shields, Primal Scream have yet to deliver a killer album this century to match their beloved 1990s peaks.

Chaosmosis is not an explosive comeback, but it does at least contain flickers of the band’s lysergic disco-punk magic. Guest vocalists include LA sibling trio Haim, who back Bobby Gillespie on the syncopated retro-psych groove_ Trippin’ On Your Love_, which sounds like a watered-down Screamadelica out-take, and the more stomping 100 Per Cent Or Nothing.

The young singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira also lends her sultry sighs to the shimmering electro-rock duet Where The Light Gets In. There are shades of New Order on the prowling synth-pop chanson (Feeling Like A) Demon Again, while the crepuscular chamber-folk ballad Private Wars radiates a fragile, breathy melancholy.

The Scream always talk a good fight, billing their 11th studio album as a statement of beauty in dark times. But, as on many previous occasions, a lack of melodic muscle and lyrical depth hobbles Gillespie’s world-conquering ambitions.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.