The restless soul of Primal Scream has once again given birth to a remarkable sonic adventure. As psychedelic pacesetters back in the beginning of the 90's and krautrock revivalists at the end of the same decade, they still have an extraordinary urge to further develop their music. The current album "Xtrmntr" is not only a well balanced mixture of previous influences but also their most brutal and hard-hitting album yet.
It's also obvious that they've grown seriously tired of global Americanisation. "Swastika Eyes" refers to the totalitarian tendencies this hegemonic world order creates and the title track "Exterminator" - including lines like "everyone's a prostitute - the civil disobedience" - could just as well have been the anthem to the recent and massive protests against the WTO negotiations in Seattle. Being very relevant, this political dimension certainly doesn't decrease the album's credibility.
To this you can add an endless and almost supernatural list of assisting artists, producers and engineers. Some, like Brendan Lynch and Tim Holmes of Death in Vegas, recycled ideas from the "Vanishing Point" era. Others, like producer Hugo Nicholson, from the time around "Screamadelica".
The band's predilection for Rolling Stones is on "Accelerator" mixed with a substantial amount of distortion (incorporated by My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields). The brilliant "MBV Arkestra" is actually identical with the, by Shields, remixed single version of  "If They Move, Kill 'Em" and, despite being an old track, occupies very motivated space within this context.
On "Pills", their most pure hip hop attempt yet, mad man The Automator successfully guides them through new musical territories. The claustrophobic "Insect Royalty" also sort of crushes into the field of hip hop, but with an approach closer to the Primal Scream tradition.
Jagz Kooner's (ex-member of Sabres of Paradise) mind-blowing version of  "Swastika Eyes" beats the crap out of Chemical Brother's take on the same song (undoubtedly the album's least interesting track). And in a better world the nasty basslines and dirty electronics of  "Exterminator" and "Kill All Hippies" would have filled every dance floor.
Although a very intense album, "Xtrmntr" contains moments of recovery. The stunningly beautiful "Keep Your Dreams", created with help from neodub-genius Adrian Sherwood and David Holmes, is something of the essence of Primal Scream and a track that couldn't possibly been made by any other band. "I'm 5 Years Ahead of My Time" recapture the brighter moments of Happy Mondays and "Shoot Speed Kill Light" is a neokraut crescendo co-produced by Kevin Shields and Tim Holmes.
"Xtrmntr" is the result of over a decade's wallowing in a spectre of musical directions. Perhaps not as revolutionary as "Screamadelica" but so very wicked and impressive, that if excluded from your shopping list, it would seriously inhibit your hunt for the perfect record collection.


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