Riot City Blues

Studio Album by released in 2006
Riot City Blues's tracklist:
Country Girl
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Nitty Gritty
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Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar
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When the Bomb Drops
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Little Death
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The 99th Floor
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We're Gonna Boogie
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Dolls (Sweet Rock and Roll)
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Hell's Comin' Down
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Sometimes I Feel So Lonely
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Riot City Blues review

True heavyweight champions return to the ring with new album Riot City Blues

Primal Scream's career could in many ways be read as a microcosm of British indie rock in the '80s and '90s. Bobby Gillespie formed the band in the mid-'80s while drumming for goth-tinged noise rockers the Jesus and Mary Chain, who were the exact opposite of Primal Scream – the latter specialized in infectious, jangly pop on its early records. Over the years we’ve seen Primal Scream take on many different guises; from sample-friendly psyche-funk, through glam-rock all the way to boundary-pushing electro-punk, constantly reinventing themselves with every record. The sheer weight of their influence on the UK music scene can be felt in the likes of The Infadels, Kosheen, and particularly Kasabian, who are themselves fast securing their place as one of Britain’s biggest bands. Even they would admit though, they would be nowhere without Primal Scream. And now the true heavyweight champions return to the ring with new album Riot City Blues, a follow-up to theelectro-tinged Evil Heat, although it could easily be compared in style and content to their 1994 masterpiece Give Out But Don't Give In. Bluesy, punky swagger and New York Dolls-esque melodies abound, marking this album out as a more organic affair than Bobby Gillespie & Co's previous two albums.

The sound of a proper rock’n’roll band at their confident best

Recorded in 10 days last June, Riot City Blues was laid down live on the studio floor at Olympic Studios in London. Primal Scream’s return to the fray has been marked with the release of storming single and album opener Country Girl, a glorious hillbilly stomp that has hijacked every radio and music television playlist in its path, and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Primal Scream are back to doing what they do best: young, dumb, out-and-out rock and roll. It’s not high-brow, pompous or political; it’s trashy, stupid, and a hell of a lot of fun. It leaves the listener gagging for more, and boy does Riot City Blues deliver. All the classic rock motifs are there, from the Bolan-esque grooves of We’re Gonna Boogie, to the brilliantly hair-metal guitar licks of Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar. This is the sound of a proper rock’n’roll band at their confident best, seeming to have gathered all they have learned before stripping it back to its purest unadulterated roots, and with what’s left, delivering their most coherent work to date. That’s not to say that the band have totally forgotten their experimental bent. Little Death, which sits grandiosely at the albums halfway house is a sprawling Eastern-flavored behemoth, displaying the bands more exotic leanings.

Quite possibly Primal Scream’s best album yet

Primal Scream were joined by the incredible Will Sergeant from Echo & The Bunnymen who played lead guitar on When The Bomb Drops; Warren Ellis of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds who played fiddle in Hell's Comin' Down and Alison Mosshart from The Kills who sang backing vocals on more than a few songs and duets with Bobby on Dolls (Come On Baby, Let's have A Good Time). There are echoes of previous Primal Scream incarnations on this album; the dance element of the Evil Heat era coming through in the off kilter drums and Mani’s omnipresent heavy bassline on When The Bomb Drops; album closer Sometimes I Feel so Lonely harks back to Star, and Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar acts as the perfect foil to Accelerator from XTRMNTR. It’s in this application, of their previous experience to the very soul of what Primal Scream stand for, that they shine. Like all great scientists, they have tried, tested and experimented with bloody-minded gusto, knowing they will finally come up with that one eureka moment. Riot City Blues is that moment. It is quite possibly their best album yet. If you are a Primal Scream fan, you cannot afford to miss this album. If you’re not, try it, you soon will be.