"We'd like to think it's held together with infectious raw energy."
This is the final sentence from the modest press release that came with the New Heat EP from Oxford, MS trio Primative. It is, fear not, but there's a little more to it than that. Primative plays a kind of pared-down cerebral guitar rock, which is delivered in an arty, restless, adventuresome way that will thrill punks and philosophers alike.
Primative describes New Heat as "a direct approach to our angular pop song styling." The term angular is the Rosetta stone, fully unfurling the riches of this wonderful EP. Although people love to hate on the word, being primarily flung around by music journalists like crap in the ape house, it has accrued a pretty established definition at this point. At various points, bands like Wire, Television, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division and latter day devotees like The Strokes and The Liars have all been described as angular. It is short hand for a certain kind of intellectual punk rock, delivering weirdly structured songs with urgency and intensity.
Angular pop song styling is the most significant phrase here. Even for the most dedicated noise-fiend, it gets tiresome listening to blistering static and aimless droning 15 hours a day. It's nice to have something to get the body moving while still being intellectually stimulating and musically adventurous.
Primative layers their edgy punk experimentation with clouds and layers of instrumental overdubs - ringing guitars, pillow-y bass lines, layers of vocals. It's like a standard pop song has been left in a ditch for a month, attracting a complex ecosystem of water snakes and insects.
For those that like post-punk, but are looking for something a little more colorful than the often drab Xeroxed worldview of the late '70s. Or for those that admire technical precision, but hate the pomposity, Primative are likely to be a godsend for your earholes.
They need to not be so modest in the press release next time!
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