The Primes Action Driver
By Marcus Pan
The Primes give me a Sigue Sigue feel to
it. Action Driver has an amateurish sound, but I appreciate it at its
garage level. Its an amateurity that gives it a gritty feel and attack.
Its punkish but is laced into the technology that the current day
provides. Sometimes it has a sharp and raw edge, like in opening track
Koppnite, and those are the moments I dig most.
Primes are just about a year old now, with Jack Duckworth
and Michelle Synnot. Their Life in the Pit limited release they did
themselves just about a year ago has sold out, and Action Driver was
scheduled to hit in July of this year. Just before this release Bakelite
12 was supposed to have hit, but the press kit tells me its
delayed so Im not sure if its out yet.
The only caveat with Primes work is sometimes the
post-production can get a bit muddied. The Night has a feel that
its underwater, and I think it could have a lot more power if it
wasnt. The duo gets experimental in tracks like Dont Lose Your
Head which is minimal, chirpy and Autechre-ish(1). Love Life Trash
gets a little too over the top with its basement sound, again underwater. The
guitars here are a bit fuzzy and somewhat boorishly played, but considering
other tracks I can slog through it until we come again to something good.
Whatever it Takes is a great song not only for its
musical style but for its complete and utter berating of the Feel Good Society.
Thats a favorite rant subject of mine shades of Philip Dicks
mood dialer from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?(2)
becomes more and more apparent and likely every day. The following Make it
Easier has a surreal sound to it and tends to get a bit strange-like.
Its stompy but not right in your face, somehow. Loving the
Stranger is simple but funky, probably lent to by the angry-reading vocals
of Duckworth. All Gore and Bright Lights has a similar underground funky
mood to it.
Im a bit at odds with how to close this review. In a
lot of cases Im saying to brush up, post-produce better, get out of the
basement. But with The Primes I think the amateurity instead is cut up into
bite size pieces of raw and I think thats where they get their edge.
Tracks like The Night or Love Like Trash could have been better
being less garage-like, but meanwhile most of the others would lose their cool
somehow. Take this however you like I guess
Post: PO Box 21543, 1424 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 5G2, Canada
Phone: (202) 302-2039
(1) Legends did review one Autechre CD, Amber, way back in
(2) A classic of the sci-fi
genre, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was
reviewed in the Off the Shelf column of
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