The Primitives: Everything’s Shining Bright – album review

The Primitives’Everything’s Shining Bright’ (Cherry Red)
CD/DL
Released 25th March 2013

There was a similar compilation a few years back but this definitive collection includes ten previously unreleased demos, Ged Babey gives them a listen.

This two CD collection includes, all the bands singles, early demos. Later demos for a projected album and the Fanclub only Live at the ICA set, which closes with I Wanna Be Your Dog. There’s an early rough version of Crash from 1985, multiple versions of some songs but some real gems herein and it’s arguably the bands best work.

The Primitives were; (multiple choice)

– Utterly Perfect Pop.

– The last great Indie band (before Indie band became a career option.)

– The coolest band of 1986/7 (Great hair, artwork as well as tunes…)

– A tribute to the Phil Spector-sound via the Jesus & Mary Chain, Blondie, the Velvets and The Ramones.

– Dumb, sugar-rush pop with no depth. All surface, no feeling.

– At their best when they were signed to Lazy and had shit-drummer Jeff Tweedie giving them a wobbly edge with his Mo Tuckerisms.

– All of the above. (Correct)

For a while the Primitives were the coolest band in the world. They made me feel old at 22. This was post post-punk pop made by a band who seem to have beamed straight in from 1969 fully formed. The Bowl haircuts, the jangle and fuzz guitars, Part Monkees Part Velvets. Dumb. Cool. With a Blonde girl-singer; Like Blondie. Only not at all like Blondie. The major-labels were just dying to find a new Blondie. Really Stupid was a pure & simple classic blast of ramalama pop. Stop Killin’ Me has the best use of tunefully sustained guitar feedback in a pop song ever (possibly). Thru the Flowers created a faux 60’s sound for the mid-80’s.

Remembering what else was around at the time in the mainstream (Madonna, U2. Whitney) and the alternative realm (Goth was getting tired, Grebo starting to emerge and C86 shamblers shambling) it was no surprise that the Primitives seemed like the greatest thing since Psychocandy.

 

They accidentally appealed to a wide demographic; “old” punks wanting a Ramones/Blondie amalgam, young kids wanting a new cool alternative that was immediately accessible and hipsters wanting the druggy cool of the Velvets and psychedelia. The sun, flowers, wind, and the ocean crop up in the lyrics, every other song seems to be about lazy stoned afternoons doing nothing … Shadow goes the whole hog with sitars and you can practically smell the joss-sticks and patchouli oil! Paul Courts nasal, lethargic vocals on Lazy and Laughing Up My Sleeve are particularly evocative and countered Traceys bright-eyed vocals.

They were a little rough around the edges; Tweedies aforementioned drumming. Traceys vocal range and expressiveness wasn’t as full as it could be. But they were just a simple pleasure. A manic thrill, and in retrospect, at their absolute best before they signed to RCA. Consequently this 2CD set is all the Primitives you need, the latter material, despite having its moments just didn’t have the sheer energy and simple, blank, naïve, snotty thrill of the Lazy works.

Tracey Traceys make-over when they signed to RCA made her look more like Ruth Ellis than Monroe. Crash was a hit and deservedly so, but somehow they went into a gradual decline from thereon in.

When they reformed a couple years back however they seemed to have regained their spark due to being truly independent again and not beholden to the bizness and the expectations of a major label.

Tracklisting

Disc One: The Lazy Singles
1. Thru The Flowers
2. Across My Shoulder
3. She Don’t Need You
4. Lazy
5. Really Stupid
6. We Found A Way To The Sun
7. Where The Wind Blows
8. Stop Killing Me
9. Buzz Buzz Buzz
10. Laughing Up My Sleeve
11. Ocean Blue
12. Shadow (Guitar Version)
13. Thru The Flowers (New Version)
14. Everything Shining Bright
15. Nothing Left
16. Really Stupid

Live 1985 Demos

17. Across My Shoulder
18. Crash
19. Spacehead

Bonus Track
20. Nothing Left (Sounds version)

Disc Two: 1987 Album Sessions
1. I’ll Stick With You
2. Dreamwalk Baby
3. Buzz Buzz Buzz
4. Nothing Left
5. Out Of Reach
6. Carry Me Home
7. Don’t Want Anything To Change

Live At The ICA 15/8/87:

8. I’ll Stick With You
9. Really Stupid
10. Dreamwalk Baby
11. Run Baby Run
12. Thru The Flowers
13. Nothing Left
14. Where The Wind Blows
15. Out Of Reach
16. We Found A Way To The Sun
17. Don’t Want Anything To Change
18. Across My Shoulder
19. Everything’s Shining Bright
20. Buzz Buzz Buzz
21. Stop Killing Me
22. I Wanna Be Your Dog

Checkout the bands latest activity at their website: http://the-primitives.co.uk/. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

All words by Ged Babey. For more writing by Ged visit his Louder Than War author archive.

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