primevals - The I-94 Bar
Garage blues and freakadelia had a baby and they named it Hi Alerts...
Over the last two or three years, something very interesting has been happening in the Glasgow underground scene; in contrast to the blandness of current high profile Scottish acts, from the derivative stadium rock of Biffy Clyro to the glossy coffee table electro-pop of Chvrches (they really should get the "U" key fixed on their computer), an exciting garage rock scene has coalesced around one of Glasgow's greatest, yet least heralded rock groups, The Primevals.
Formed by Michael Rooney in 1983, The Primevals blazed an uncompromising path through the '80s Scottish music scene. Inspired by such luminaries as The Cramps, Tav Falco & Panther Burns and The Gun Club, Rooney's barmy army of fellow punk-forged rock 'n' roll obsessives had no truck with the prevailing trends. Their outsider status within the Scottish music scene was in many ways analogous to that of Radio Birdman when they established their "Detroit South" Real O-Mindset in Sydney, Australia in the mid-70s.
This band goes back to 1983. They split up and re-animated themselves in 2005. The album itself dropped in 2010, and is worth moving heaven and earth to procure. If someone told you a tough rock and roll band with swagger to rival the New Christs came from Glasgow, would you believe them? Och, aye. Wake up and smell the thistles.
Rock and roll isn’t dead - it’s just being ground into the carpet like so much stray cigarette ash by the powers of mediocrity and digital division. If you apply the vacuum hard enough and in the right places, you’ll still find it.
So point the nozzle of your Hoover (or Dyson, if you’re cashed up) in the direction of Glasgow, Scotland, and suck up as much of The Primevals as you can. Three decades into their existence (admittedly, with a break in the middle), these gnarly Scots are staking a claim for independence from the banal indifference that passes for mainstream radio rock, Jock.
By the time you reach the chorus off opening song "Way Beyond Tore Up" you'll cross the line or stay on the other side. Primevals are Scotland's coolest band. They play irrepressible garage-blues rock and roll. There's no halfway point for them and neither should there be for you.
A Light In A Dark Place – The Media Whores (Twenty Stone Blatt)
Four studio albums into this punk rock caper and The Media Whoresaren’t mellowing with age. History records that there have been more battles in their home of Stirlingshire, Scotland, over the last 500 years than most old school Aussie pubs, so it’s only fitting that they keep fighting wars on multiple fronts.
Wanna talk about old punks? The creative fulcrum of Craig (vocals and guitar) and Doogie Mackie (bass and backing vocals) lit their first fire together in 2008 and the band almost won a mainstream industry Mercury prize in 2017 for their caustic “Dangerous Minds” long player. Presumably, a win would have been the kiss of death so let’s give thanks for the judges’ lack of good taste.
"Hipster beware! Time to be free; rock 'n' roll is primeval beat."
Lindsay Hutton, founder of the “Next Big Thing” fanzine and “The Legion of the Cramped” Cramps Fan Club, knows a thing or two about great rock 'n’ roll. His liner notes to the “On The Red Eye” anthology of early Primevals material succinctly summarised the appeal of the Glaswegian garage veterans: "Their Gun Club meets Radio Birdman take on Detroit rock 'n' soul preachin' blues was much more direct than practically anything that has ever come outta Glasgow.“
Formed by Michael Rooney in Glasgow, Scotland in 1983, The Primevals were the compete antithesis of everything that was fashionable at the time. Right up to the present day, the group has always been roundly ignored by mainstream media both in Glasgow and at a national level, aside from a handful of free thinking journalists who have championed them through thick and thin.
They're not supposed to make records this good anymore. The scenario's familiar: Eighties underground band with all the right roots re-animates and attempts to re-capture their past by pushing out a new album to the converted, right? We've seen it happen with ever-increasing frequency. Only this time it works.
If you’’re aware of the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project you’ll already know the quality of the acts contributing to the ongoing series of musical tributes to the late Gun Club frontman. Here’s another salvo, this time in the shape of a double A-sided seven-inch single pairing a punk rock supergroup of sorts with a super garage rock group from Scotland.