The Primitives – Galore (Deluxe Edition) (Cherry Red)
8.5 / 10
Indie Pop band The Primitive’s third album has just been re-released. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews an album chock full of “brilliant three minute pop songs”.
The Primitives were just one of those bands. They promised (and delivered) so much but were largely ignored. A travesty. The then trio were clearly the influence behind groups like Transvision Vamp and My Bloody Valentine and will maybe just be remembered for their 1988 classic pop Crash (a live version is included here). Galore, their final studio before their initial disbandment in the early 90s is a shining beacon of sugar sweet Indie Pop if ever there was one.
The new Deluxe Edition contains all the B-sides from 1991/2 together with rarities, remixes and live tracks in a quite lovely collection. Opening with the three singles You Are The Way, Lead Me Astray and Earth Thing the album is largely produced by pop genius Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds), and his influence is clear to see as powerful drums combine with lush keys and jangly guitars to create instantly likeable pop.
By the time Galore was originally released The Primitives were reduced to a threesome following the departure of bassist Steve Dullaghan (who sadly died in 2009). Tracks like Slip Away and Give This World To You, which were originally and criminally confined to B-sides, were given an airing alongside their flip-side counterparts and allowed to blossom as the perfect little gems that they are.
It’s probably fair to say that the band were poorly supported by their record company as singles Way Behind Me (represented on Disc 2 as a live version) and Out Of Reach failed to puncture the UK Top 20. Slightly better success was achieved by the Coventry trio in the USA as four top 20 singles and a slot supporting The Sugarcubes on tour helped increase their profile before the commercial failure of Galore prompted their split.
At 30 tracks across two CDs, Galore is a reminder of a group that should have had far far more success and recognition than they received. With ten live tracks on Disc 2 the power and perfection of The Primitives as a live act can also be witnessed. The September Mix of You Are The Way mixed by the Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie is delightful.
The stark truth about The Primitives is that they were probably before their time. Had they been around in the mid-90s they may well have attracted the shoegazing and Britpop fraternity. As it is, their sound was unique and hasn’t dated in the slightest, with a familiarity that people will instantly feel attached to. Galore is a beacon in how to write brilliant three minute pop songs and it’s time it was allowed to shine.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.