The Oasis Archive interview: Nick Amies talks about his new Oasis book Where Did It All Go Wrong?

In a departure from the usual features written by myself, I would like to reproduce the interview I did with the Oasis Archive website recently on my book Where Did It All Go Wrong? Oasis and the Millennium Meltdown 1995 – 2000.

Tell me a little about your professional background and what made you become an author.

authorI’ve been a journalist for over 20 years now and in that time I have worked in jobs that have required me to write about pretty much everything; business, football, politics, you name it… It’s the diversity of the job which has kept me interested and motivated. One day I could be writing a piece on architecture for the New York Times, the next interviewing a Hollywood director like Terry Gilliam for the Economist. But music has always been my main passion and I’ve been able to keep that side of journalism going even when I’ve had a full time job on a news desk. It keeps you sane when you’ve been writing about war and suffering all day to be able to get to a gig, spend some time with one of your heroes backstage and then cover their concert. I’ve been lucky enough to interview many of my idols and then to write about their lives and their music…it doesn’t get much better than that for me.

As for the books, I’ve always written stories, ever since I was a little kid and it was always a dream of mine to write a novel. After a friend of mine read a screenplay I was working on, he suggested I expand on the story and write it as a novel instead. That turned out to be my first book, the Madchester road trip novel “Mersey Paradise”. It was a good experience but I felt I could do better. So I started a second book shortly after, the Britpop love story “She’s Electric”, which I’m very proud of. Writing books is now one of the many side projects I have, on top of holding down a full-time job as an editor, maintaining a relationship and being a father.

Do you remember where and when you first heard of the name Oasis? Was it their music, or did their reputation and press precede this?

It was 1994. I was living in Norwich in the East of England and I was at a friend’s place getting high. We were watching the Channel 4 late night programme The Word and Oasis came on – their first TV appearance – playing Supersonic. I was blown away. Later I found out that they had played the intimate Arts Centre venue in the city the week before that, and I’ve been gutted about that ever since. It would have been amazing to catch them at that time, before it all blew up. Supersonic was like nothing I’d ever heard before. I was a massive Stone Roses fan at the time and waiting for them to get their arses into gear had left me looking for something new. I dug Suede and I was a big fan of Ride but Oasis just felt tailor-made for me at that time. It all made sense. And Liam was just spectacular. When you watch that clip again, just remember that he was barely 21 and on national TV for the first time. He fills the screen. He invades your home. After that I was hooked.

The artwork for the book is obviously inspired by the artwork for the “Standing On The Shoulder of Giants” release, and it fits very well with the title and theme of the book! Was that a stock-photo, and how did you go about finding this?

6144jy0t0elI wanted to design my own cover but using any of the official Oasis logos would have been problematic, what with the copyright issues and such. And you can forget about using photos of the band if you’re a self-published author on a shoestring production budget. So it’s a Shutterstock image which I found in their database and it’s the closest I could find to the shot of New York used on the cover of SOTSOG. I know the fans get where I’m coming from with it but a few people have asked why I have the Big Apple on the cover when the band come from Manchester. I hope reading the book will lead these people to the music if they’re not familiar with SOTSOG, which in my opinion is a sorely underrated album.

There is obviously a very strong British identity in the visual artwork for the first three albums and related singles (designed by Microdot). Later albums seem to deliberately move away from this, sporting a new logo and images locations far from Burnage. Do you have a favourite record sleeve, and what was your feeling on the shift in design?

I have to say that the final album, Dig Out Your Soul, is my favourite in terms of artwork. It’s as much of a departure from the traditional Oasis style as the music inside the sleeve is from their original sound. It’s psychedelic and mature – just as the recording itself is.

As for the shift in design from the Microdot sleeves of the 90s, I just accepted it as part of Oasis progressing. Those Brian Cannon designs are iconic and part and parcel of the Britpop legacy Oasis left behind when they moved into the new millennium. The single cover of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ is perhaps my favourite from that time. Moving away from Microdot, I loved the SOTSOG cover, the first one Simon Halfon did for the band, and the other covers and portraits he did after that really captured the band in that decade out of time, an older version of Oasis removed from the craziness of the years they dominated. Halfon’s style perfectly caught the band as they matured into serious artists and national treasures from the wild upstarts and party animals they were during their heyday.

R-817735-1293478865.jpegHalfon was a good choice to document these years. He’d been a long-time collaborator of Paul Weller’s and started working with the Modfather on art direction as far back as his days in The Jam. As such, through Weller’s friendship with Noel Gallagher, Halfon got to know the Chief, who appreciated his work with Weller and shared his love of The Beatles. But it was through a friend who was hired to shoot the video for ‘Supersonic’ that Halfon and Noel became friends. When it came to choosing an art director for SOTSOG, Noel called Halfon and asked him to do it. He then went on to photograph and design for Oasis throughout the rest of the band’s career.

Why did you decide to focus on Oasis’ career from 1995 till 2000, and not 1994-2000, or up until their very last meltdown (2009)?

The rise of Oasis with their slash-and-burn approach to touring and the momentum which started to grow around the band in the lead up to the release of their debut Definitely Maybe is of course one of the great rock and roll stories – streetwise lads from the wrong side of the tracks making it mega big; it’s one of those classic origin stories. But a lot has been written about that phase, and rightly so. But for me, if you break down the career of the band into narrative sections, the most interesting is the one featured in the book. It starts with the release of Morning Glory, the second album, through the band’s imperial phase which followed when they were untouchable, playing to a quarter of a million people over the Knebworth weekend, and then – when the fame and fortune were at unprecedented levels – they dived headfirst into their third album, Be Here Now, and into a Himalayan-sized mountain of coke. The excess during this period is legendary but there are so many threads running through this story, behind the music and the madness, and that’s what I wanted to write about as much as anything; the press intrusion, the pressures the band were experiencing professionally and personally, the dynamic within the band, the changing musical and social landscape in the UK at the time. These are the things which contributed – along with the massive intake of drugs – to what I call the millennium meltdown. By the end of the 90s, all of this had taken its toll and it was unsurprising that Oasis Mark 1 fell apart before the 21st century began.

Do you ever see yourself writing a sequel to this book focusing on the next chapter of the Oasis history?

I’ve been asked by a few people if I’ll do a follow up and it certainly appeals to the fan side of me to dive back into Oasis history and start digging again but I chose to focus on a particular time period in the band’s career because that had not been done before. Besides, for me – as I’ve said before – the era I cover in the book is the most interesting part of the whole story: Oasis ascending to the summit of British rock before descending to the depths, where – ironically – they were probably at their highest, if you know what I mean. The years between 2000 and the split in 2009 are filled with great music but in terms of incident and precedent, there wasn’t that much to compare to the events that I’ve documented. What would we have? Noel storming off the tour in 2000 after Liam allegedly questioned the legitimacy of his daughter; Liam getting his teeth smashed out in a Munich bar fight in 2002, the divorces, the Spinal Tap procession of drummer’s after Whitey was sacked in 2004? The truth is, up until the split in Paris six years ago, the stories behind the music kinda fizzled out. They made some great tunes during that time but the sensationalism was over.

Did you get to see the band live during the timeframe of the book (1995-2000)?

BHNI saw them headline Glastonbury in 1995 and then on the Be Here Now tour at Wembley Arena in 1997. Both shows were splendidly shambolic for different reasons. At Glastonbury, Liam was more interested in intimidating the crowd, which failed to respond to many of the songs from Morning Glory that no one had ever heard before. At Wembley, they were just back in the UK after the first leg of the BHN world tour and they looked and sounded a bit frazzled. Plus the popularity the band was enjoying by then meant it was like a variety show with all the families and young kids in the stands, especially as it was around Christmas. It wasn’t very Oasis. The danger and menace was absent. But don’t get me wrong – I loved both gigs purely because it was Oasis. I went on to see them another five times in the years leading up to the split and Noel Gallagher nailed it when he said recently that the band got better as the songs got shitter! Late-period Oasis were still a fearsome live act, even if the youthful mayhem had long been left behind by then.

The book is very well researched with a lot of good quotes and references. Did you spend long researching it, and what were your primary sources?

It took about two years in total, although I did nothing on the book during the nine months my partner was pregnant with our daughter. The research itself probably took six months in all. I planned the book out in the themes I wanted to cover and went trawling through the Internet, reading all the interviews I could find, looking for relevant quotes and information which fitted. I contacted a number of people who were close to band but received the same response: there seemed to be an unwritten rule that no-one would speak about their time with Oasis. And the band members themselves rarely talk to authors because they just get too many requests. But there are some exclusive quotes from Noel and Liam in there as I’ve interviewed them both in the past. And former Oasis press officer Johnny Hopkins was especially helpful and actually helped a great deal to fill in a lot of the black holes I had in some of the chapters.

Have you ever met any of the band members, and if you were given the opportunity to ask only one question to Noel, Liam and Bonehead respectively; what would it be?

beadyI’ve interviewed Noel and Liam before; Noel when Oasis were still going and Liam when he was with Beady Eye. I’ve also talked to Gem Archer and Andy Bell a couple of times, both as members of Oasis and of Beady Eye. I never met any of the other original Oasis members.

I guess if I had to ask one question, I’d ask Bonehead if he had ever considered getting a hair transplant during the band’s heyday. I always respected the fact that Oasis didn’t give a fuck about having a bald guy, or a fat bloke, in the band. It wasn’t about that to start with. But I also always wondered if he’d thought about getting his thatch thickened when the fame and fortune flooded in!

Here is a question from a forum member on SupernovaHeights, named joladella: In your acknowledgements, you thank Noel’s manager Ray McCarville for explaining, why he and the other former band members usually decline requests by authors. I’d love to know what that explanation was. I guess you might not be at liberty to say, but “… situation which prevents [them] …” (p. 236) sounds intriguing, what situation? Legal reasons? Or just a complicated way of saying they simply don’t want to?

There’s nothing sinister about that, as far as I know. The former band members get so many requests for their involvement in books that they simply wouldn’t have enough time to contribute to them all. As a result, they politely decline all requests. That’s the message I got from Ray.

It seems that very few (if any) of the members who left Oasis over the years – from Tony McCaroll in 1995, up until the final split in 2009 – actually ended on good terms with Noel Gallagher. Who do you reckon is the most difficult being in a band with; Liam or Noel?

tony-mccarrollHmm…If you were kicked out of Oasis or forced to leave, it’s very unlikely that you’d have an objective view of those who were responsible for that, right? And that person, more often than not, is going to be Noel because he’s the boss. If you leave under a cloud, you’re more than likely gonna hold grudges… So I think you have to look at who’s saying what and why in those situations.

I’ve spent time with both brothers and both were absolute gents during the time I spent talking to them; eloquent, intelligent, thoughtful and above all very funny – not quite the surly thugs which many journalists portray them as. But I’ve never worked with, or for, either one of them. I would say that both of the Gallaghers are very driven people – yes, even Liam – and that they can be very demanding of those working with them in the pursuit of what they want to achieve. Neither suffers fools gladly. If I had to give my unqualified opinion, based only on the reports and anecdotes I have read during my research, I would say that the young Liam circa 1994/95 would have been a nightmare at times due to his erratic and explosive nature. I would also say that Noel circa 1997 would probably have been quite hard to be around too as he struggled with his substance abuse and the pressure of being the driving force behind the massive band Oasis had become. But this has to be put into context. Liam was struggling with fame and all the attention he was getting at the tender age of 21 and Noel was being crushed by the expectation of millions of fans and the media which had built him up into a Godlike genius. It’s likely any one of us would be an arsehole to some people in the same situation!

What Oasis songs mean the most to you?

That’s like being asked to choose which of your children you love the most. It’s a very tough question as I love pretty much everything Oasis ever did. But if I’m to attach meaning and memory to songs as a way of narrowing things down, I’d say – in no particular order – Supersonic, Listen Up, Let’s All Make Believe, and Who Feels Love. And that’s only from the period in the book. I’d be here all day if I did it for the band’s entire career.

Oasis_supersonic_sleeveSupersonic because it’s such a statement of intent and it was the song that brought me to Oasis. When that drum intro starts and that woozy guitar line starts jangling, it’s goosebumps all over, even today. “I wanna be myself, I can’t be no-one else” – as Bonehead says in the book, that’s Oasis barging to the front and saying ‘right, we’ll take charge here…This is how it’s going to be from now on.’ And they were right. After that, all bets were off.

Listen Up contains some of the best lines Noel has ever written and Liam’s delivery of the whole song is pure magic. I came to this song when I was questioning a lot of things and it helped me get my world view sorted out. The lyric “day by day there’s a man in a suit who’s gonna make you pay, for the thoughts that you think and the words they won’t let you say” – that just fired me up.

Let’s All Make Believe is again a song which came to me when I was at a low point. There were a lot of false people around me at the time and I needed to make a change to get out of that situation. Then a true friend did something amazing for me and through his sacrifice, I made a life-changing decision which I have never regretted. I’m here doing what I do, living the life I have because of that and because of that friend. The song really resonates with that period but beyond its meaning to me, it’s just a beautiful song and, in my opinion, one of Liam’s best ever vocals.

Who Feels Love is probably derided by many because it’s a bit cod-psychedelic and it comes from the period of the millennium meltdown I write about where Noel had to start again from scratch in many ways. But for me, it’s a really uplifting piece of music and has such a light atmosphere to it that I love to kinda float along with it – which is something you don’t expect from an Oasis track. And it reminds me of the love of my life, so there’s that too!

What is your take on the ‘Be Here Now’ album? From its initially raving reviews, to its backlash of people returning it to second hand shops; did you opinion on the album also change?

oasis_be_here_now-ad_11078I remember that I bought a knock-off cassette from a night market in Thailand shortly after it was released and the quality was unsurprisingly a bit dodgy so I didn’t really get the full experience until later but I loved the ambition and the sheer weight of the tracks at first. Once I got a CD copy, I really got into it. It really was a soundtrack for that summer for me and my friends. I’ll admit though that I had a period where I skipped a lot of the tracks on Be Here Now. I also admit that I may have been swayed by the criticism it’s got over the years. But I’ve rehabilitated it and I play it quite regularly, although my opinions of certain songs are forever coloured by the negative associations. I love D’You Know What I Mean?, My Big Mouth, It’s Getting’ Better (Man!!) but tend to tolerate rather than celebrate songs like Magic Pie, Fade In-Out, and even All Around the World. There’s a great song in there somewhere but it’s just too long!

If Oasis were set to release a new retrospective release of any format; what would be on top of your wish-list? A Noel Gallagher penned autobiography? A coffee table book of pictures? Noel’s demos from Mustique, or a concert film from the pompous Be Here Now tour? You decide!

There’s a long-mooted Knebworth documentary and concert film floating about somewhere which would be a great historical as well as musical document of those times. I’d love to see that. An autobiography from Noel would also be an essential read, especially if he really went warts-and-all on the dynamic within the band and his relationship with Liam. But this idea which has been talked about, to do a feature film on the band’s story? No way. Who could play the Gallaghers better than themselves? No actor I can think of. It would be like fucking Stars in Their Eyes. “Tonight Matthew, I’m gonna be Liam Gallagher…” However, if someone wanted to pay me to write the screenplay, I’d be on it like a shot.

What’s next for you? Any new projects you’re working on?

I have a whole graphic novel series sitting around in various computer files and parts of my brain which is so massive in its depth and scope that it kinda scares me! There’s so much there. I’m afraid it’ll never see the light of day because it’s really fucking good, to be honest! It would take a really committed artist to bring it all to life and I haven’t found that person yet. I’m still looking. So that project’s just sitting in the shadows, watching me, whispering my name every day…

Other than that, I already have plans to do another non-fiction book, this time on Happy Mondays. I want to work with an old and very good friend of mine on this but we have to wait until his current projects are completed before we can start. Plus I need a bit of a break after Where Did It All Go Wrong? Once the promotion of that has slowed down, I’ll start the research on the Mondays book and we’ll take it from there.

Related content:

I also gave an interview on WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? to Phonic FM’s Britpop Revival show as part of their great Manchester special in September. It’s worth listening to it all but I come on at the 52′ 30″ mark if that’s all you’re interested in. Click on the image below to go to the show on their Mixcloud page.

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WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? Available to buy on Amazon and Lulu.com NOW

coverimage_lulu 2After exploding onto the British music scene only two years previously, Oasis played the biggest free-standing gigs the UK had ever seen over two nights at Knebworth Park in the summer of 1996. Playing to a combined crowd of 250,000 people on what would become the defining weekend of the Britpop era, Oasis made good on their many claims that they were destined to be the biggest band on the planet. What happened next is a rollercoaster ride through the wildest excesses of rock ‘n’ roll; from the highs of mega-stardom, mass adoration and tabloid ubiquity, to the lows of drug psychosis, mindless mayhem and a media backlash. WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? charts Oasis’s journey from the mid-90s euphoria of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? to the turn-of-the-century comedown of Standing on the Shoulder of Giants; from the all-conquering Knebworth shows through the cocaine blizzard of Be Here Now, the madness and chaos of their 1997 world tour and out the other side.

Buy WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? on Amazon

XTRMNTR – Primal Scream (Review)

screamAfter making Screamadelica, one of the defining rock-dance crossover albums of the Madchester era, Primal Scream lost their way on their follow-up release, Give Out But Don’t Give Up. Rendered sloppy and uninspired by the heroin that had replaced ecstasy as the band’s drug of choice and hugely indebted to the more formulaic aspects of the Rolling Stones back catalogue, the Scream’s latest reinvention felt like a huge anti-climax. The band’s chameleon-like ability to reinvent not only themselves but also the musical landscape around them seemed to have been misplaced at their local dealers. Two years later, with Stone Roses bassist Mani joining the line-up, Primal Scream’s rehabilitation began with Vanishing Point, a rumbling sonic road trip which bucked the Britpop trend of the time. Vanishing Point was a brave move considering the guitar-driven, retro-fitted über-popularity of the Scream’s peers. Rather than being seen as an anomaly, the album gained widespread acclaim from critics who hailed it as a return to form. But the band’s full artistic recovery (and in light of subsequent releases, their post-Screamadelica zenith) came three years later in 2000 with the release of XTRMNTR. Even long-term fans who had gotten used to adjusting their perceptions and re-learning how to love the band every few years were taken aback by the album. Relentless, dark, savage in places, XTRMNTR left many stunned. Those looking for the lilting, soaring vocals and the addictive guitar hooks and melodies of the past were beaten back into reality by an art-punk onslaught. Gone were the dreamy paeans to lost love and the head-in-the-clouds romanticism of old; aided and abetted by My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields and the Chemical Brothers among others in the production booth, XTRMNTR would become one of the defining pre-millennium angst albums, summing up the climate of anxiety in which the world lurched irrevocably towards a new age. Its warnings of reptilian usurpers, Illuminati conspiracy theories and anti-corporate calls for anarchic revolution weren’t the ramblings of a paranoid and drug-addled mind, but poetical-political messages from a freshly coherent artist set to the sound of carpet bombing. Bobby Gillespie had woken up from his mid-90s torpor with the knowledge that Primal Scream had to right some wrongs and that any call to arms had to be accompanied by the rumbling drums of war. Combining apocalyptic codas with seismic bass, screaming horns and shredding riffs, Gillespie and his crew brought the 20th Century to a close not with a bang but with an atomic blast. It was – and still is – the band’s best work of the last 20 years.

Commendations

“Subvert normality…kill all hippies…” So XTRMNTR begins. A frantic phone rings, a creepy keyboard refrain seethes, a child’s voice exhorts the extermination of the flower power generation. It’s immediately obvious from the first few bars that you’re entering a dark, new world. Mani’s bass begins to roll and thunder over screeching electronic feedback as an inappropriately soulful Bobby Gillespie starts to croon over the building chaos like a malevolent Curtis Mayfield: “You got the money, I got the soul…can’t be bought, can’t be owned.” ‘Kill All Hippies’ slithers through dirty, blood-stained alleyways, shiftily looking for victims. It’s an unsettling precursor to ‘Accelerator’ which crashes into your head on fuzz-boxed punk riffs and screaming vocals. It’s a distorted mash-up of rave and metal with Gillespie snarling through a megaphone at the head of a baying mob. “Here we come, we’re coming fast…out the upside, into the past…forced to screaming in my head, into the future.” It’s an adrenaline rush from start to finish; a thrilling thrash. ‘Exterminator’ then bleeps into life, an R2D2 intro which then slides into squashy sequencers and monotone vocals, slipping in and out as if intoned from the windows of passing cars. Gillespie robotically laments about civilisation’s slide into slavery – “no civil disobedience” – in a world of techno control and chemical manipulation. “Insecticide shots for criminal cops…all jails are concentration camps, all judges are bought…Everyone’s a prostitute.” Despite it’s doomsday narrative, it’s a chugging, low-fi dance tune carrying the Scream’s trademark skill of delivering killer hooks amid a maelstrom of noise. The rave vibe returns with ‘Swastika Eyes’, perhaps the stand-out track on the album. Distorted sirens wail in among electronic beeps and a frantic yet groovy bassline supported by sequenced drums which clatter and click. It harks back to the bug-eyed, sweat-drenched warehouse parties which the Scream soundtracked in the early 90s, only instead of lyrics about being higher than the sun, we have warnings of the shadow government’s “elimination policy” and the “military industrial illusion of democracy.” At over 7 relentless, addictive minutes, ‘Swastika Eyes’ threatens the listener with dehydration and with a six-minute Chemical Brothers refrain coming later in the album, there is a danger that the song’s many qualities might start to suffer from overload. Thankfully, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons mix it up enough to present it as a worthwhile addition. ‘Pills’ chimes in in its wake with a trancey keyboard coda and Gregorian chants, suggesting we adjourn to the chill-out room…but Bobby’s not finished with us yet. Oh no. Just as you’re ready for a sit down, Gillespie starts hurling insults in a pseudo-rap: “I’m gonna tell the truth, the truth about you, you’ve never been true, you’re nothing, you’ve got nothing to say, shine a light on you, you fade away.” Then his mates join in. They start bludgeoning you with a fierce dance beat and whipping you with sampled violins as Gillespie shouts over your inevitable demise.

The influence of Mani on XTRMNTR cannot be overstated. The former Stone Rose has full co-credits on XTRMNTR, his first full Scream album, after joining in 1997 when Vanishing Point had already been written. His presence is most keenly felt on the instrumental ‘Blood Money’, which – intentionally or not – opens with a drum beat reminiscient of the intro to the Stone Roses epic ‘I am the Resurrection’. Mani’s bass then strikes up an ominous lead guitar line which is part horror movie tension-builder, part chase scene. Chemically compromised Blaxploitation funk horns scream in and a jagged, almost crystal piano refrain begins to stab its way into the composition. But this is Mani’s domain and the clearest indication yet that the Scream will be a much different proposition with him in their ranks. ‘Keep Your Dreams’ is a surprising change of pace within the context of what hangs around it, with restrained trip hop beats, suppressed melotron runs and electric bells chiming throughout. It’s the closest to the heaven-staring balladry of the early albums and is a jarring, yet beautiful shift to a more sensitive side amongst the chaos and oppresiveness.

After this moment of calm, the whirlwind begins to gather pace again with ‘Insect Royalty’, a discordant slab of electronica splattered with car horn trumpets and Gillespie’s stream of distorted consciousness, followed by the Kevin Shields-controlled ‘MBV Arkestra (If They Move Kill ‘Em)’, a mystical opus of speed-freak psychedelia built on wah-wah guitars, sampled sitars and tribal drums. The album finally returns to fever pitch with ‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’ with Mani again to the fore on what is effectively Krautrock legends Can on amphetamines. It’s a nonsense; a message-free blast of repetitive bass, electronic screeches, sampled sighs and Gillespie repeating the song title ad nauseum. And it’s great! An upbeat conclusion to a thunderously dark and apocalyptic journey. It promotes the feeling that the new millennium is coming whether we like it or not so put the pedal to the metal and go in with all guns blazing.

Next Steps

Bobby Gillespie says in the Creation Records documentary Upside Down that XTRMNTR is Primal Scream’s best album. He doesn’t add the caveat “…after Screamadelica” which would be the response of many people. It’s hard to disagree with him when placing XTRMNTR up against all the albums the Scream made after it. XTRMNTR is certainly a more proficient , expansive and challenging album than Screamadelica but whether it had as much cultural impact remains debatable. Regardless of where one stands on the argument, there is no doubt however that XTRMNTR is one of the two definitive Primal Scream albums.

Despite Gillespie’s complaint that Creation bosses Alan McGee and Dick Green “fucked us over” by shutting the label just as XTRMNTR was released, depriving it – in the singer’s opinion – of any kind of support or marketing, the record still went to number 3 in the UK album charts and eventually went gold. Its follow-up, Evil Heat, continued in the same vein but with softer, dub-tinged edges. Primal Scream would then abandon the electronica of XTRMNTR to return to a more traditional guitar-driven style with mostly mediocre results. XTRMNTR therefore remains the band’s creative, artistic – and most abrasive – high water mark.

Also published on: PULUCHE.COM