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The Primitives

Petals (self-released)

By • Sep 29th, 2014 • Category: Single review

Brit Pop was a golden era for, well, British music. The hazy days of the early to mid 1990s will always go down in history where the world thought it was from this sceptred isle
. When everybody wore a rain mac, round glasses and supported Manchester United.
As one of the bands right in the thick of the action, both before and during the boom, The Primitives were responsible for perhaps one of the most popular tracks of the era. “Crash,” was an international slobber-knocker of a tune that, for many, will always symbolise that time. And now, 22 years after they disbanded, the group returns with a new single, a new album but the same old look on life.
Very much an anthem that’s transcended time, ‘Crash’ was defined by its poppy accessibility and distinctive sound. Tracy Tracy’s unbothered, lethargic singing coupled with the don’t tread on me style lyrics became an anthem for so many spotty teens the world over. Even their older, should know better counterparts got in on the action to a song that just made you want to jump.
But how do you follow that up. The answer was, for The Primitives at least, you don’t.
Now, decades after their hit sent them straight to the top, the group are releasing brand new material. Part of their new album Spin-O-Rama, single ‘Petals’ seeks to recapture some of their former glory. And, without putting a massive dampener on things, it does and it doesn’t.
The first thing that immediately hits with this new single is that the group has aged well. So well in fact that it’s hard to believe that Tracey’s vocals are now a full 26 years older than they were on ‘Crash.’
Still feisty but ultimately non-plussed, ‘Petals’ has all the hallmarks of what you would deem to be a Primitives record. And that, as pleasant as it may be to fans and casual listeners alike, is also its downfall.
Nothing has changed here, at least, not on the surface. Yes, the group might be older, a little wiser, and slightly different looking but that fundamentally, they’re still the same. ‘Petals’ proves that if a group has a winning formula then it’s a smart bet to stick to it. After all, ‘Crash’ was a No 5 hit in the UK and No 3 in the US.
The world, however, is a very different place to what it was in 1988. Musical demands and expectations have completely changed, as have tastes. Having The Primitives back and producing more music isn’t necessarily bad thing, but its not going to set music webzines alight.
For what it’s worth, ‘Petals’ is a fun, upbeat and poppy track that gets the listener moving. And, just like its counterpart from the late 1980s, it’s a nice listen. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?
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