For a band that released their first record over 30 years ago, Primal Scream have never been ones to rest on their laurels. Taking risks and confounding expectations with every subsequent release - occasionally getting it wrong but for the most part, confronting the zeitgeist full on and hitting the spot in the process.
It's difficult to choose any one particular era or guise of the band as being the most productive or incisive. From the moment much-maligned - and wrongly as it still stands the test of time today - debut Sonic Flower Groove arrived in the autumn of 1987 they've continually pushed the envelope into the most diverse corners of the musical spectrum. Whether it be game changers like Screamadelica or XTRMNTR, experimental voyages such as Vanishing Point and its sister in crime Echo Dek or revitalising the future as on Evil Heat or 2013's More Light, their status as one of the UK's most revered bands of the past three decades remains sturdy.
So with album number 11, they've moved the goalposts again somewhat, releasing arguably their most accessible record since Screamadelica in the shape of Chaosmosis. While not existentially groundbreaking, it's arguably their most consistent body of work this century.
The interim between More Light and Chaosmosis hasn't been without its tribulations, most notably the tragic passing of former guitarist Robert 'Throb' Young in 2014. So it's perhaps inevitable that aside from the infectious nature purveyed by much of Chaosmosis, there's some deeply personal and often political sentiments lying at its core.
Opener 'Trippin' On Your Love' sets its stall out from the outset, its uplifting vibe similar to that of 'Don't Fight It, Feel It' off Screamadelica. With backing vocals provided by Haim, the first of two contributions the Los Angeles based sisters make to the album, its early Nineties good time feel could be seen as either a pastiche of former glories or a band doing what they need to do to hit the ground running. Judging by what follows, we're inclined to go with the latter.
'(Feeling Like A) Demon Again' employs the same liquid beats LCD Soundsystem have patented as their own in recent years. What makes it stand out is Bobby Gillespie's passionately heartfelt vocal, while the melody itself wows and flutters like the best bits of the New Order songbook circa Brotherhood or Technique. '100% Or Nothing' follows a similarly subservient path, it's chorus aided and abetted by the Haim sisters once more as Gillespie delivers the immortal line "It's what you get, what did you expect?"
'I Can Change' and 'Private Wars' drop the tempo slightly and bring a touch of poignancy to proceedings. In the former, Gillespie makes reference to self destruction caused by drink and drugs while on the latter he implores us - you - to "Fill your heart with love", Cat's Eyes Rachel Zeffira adding an extra touch of class in the process.
Lead single 'Where the Light Gets In' arguably ranks as one of the Scream's finest singles all told. Sky Ferreira's vocal providing a touch of youthful vigour over an electronic rhythm that's part New Order, part Tiga and part Kylie. There's a familiarity about 'When The Blackout Meets The Fallout' that suggests it could have been lifted from the score of an Eighties American police drama while 'Carnival Of Fools' continues the mood, it's vibrant pop sheen in tune with the rest of the album.
Chaosmosis tails off a little towards the end. Gospel tinged penultimate number 'Golden Rope' accounting for perhaps the most forgettable five-and-a-half minutes on the record. While Gillespie draws on self analysis and introspection for slow burning closer 'Autumn In Paradise'. As a result, Chaosmosis goes out with its tail between it's legs rather than a bang. Nevertheless, there's enough on Chaosmosis to keep even the most casual fan occupied over the months ahead. As for those already worshipping at the altar of Primal Scream, prepare to be consecrated once more.
8Dom Gourlay's Score