I have a real soft spot for The Primitives. They were the first band I ever interviewed – it was in a toliet but that’s another story – and they ended up being my main musical crush for much of the late 80s. In my book Stop Killing Me is the perfect mix of The Ramones and The Monkees and quite possibly the equal of anything either band ever recorded. Crash was a near perfect pop single too and their debut Lovely was a whole heap of fun.
I really enjoyed seeing the band play live a year or so ago, but expected that I’d never hear from them again.
Then the band appear with a new album, and it is absolutely brilliant. I very much doubt if I will play anything as much as this in 2012 and this is a year in which many of my favourite bands; The Soundcarriers, Magic Theatre, Superimposers and more have music in the pipeline.
The genius of Echoes and Ryhmes is that it is a covers album, but one in which, unless you have a masters in 60s beat and psych, almost all the songs will be new. Even then the band take the more familiar choices, in this instance Nico’s pre Velvets 66 single I’m Not Saying, and revinvent them. The smart bit is that I’m Not saying is transformed from being a perky piece of folk punk to a droney dirge more akin to the band she ended up singing for. And it works superbly.
In fact Echoes and Rhymes is a work of genius on two levels. On face value it is just a wonderful listen, a collection of uptempo pop songs that really do sound like The Primitives of yore. But the album will also have you scurrying off to Spotify and YouTube to trrack down the originals ironically most of which aren’t anywhere near as good as The Primtives’ take on them.
My favourite song, Sunshine On My Rainy Day Mind, a slow burning psych tune by a US singer called Polly Niles. The original is superb, but The Primitives version is just a bit zippier and fresher.
Almost as good is Move It On Over, a soulful beat tune originally recorded by the brilliantly named Legrand Mellon in 1965. It is utterly addictive.
YouTube has the band’s cover of The Witch, a track originally recorded by an obscure German duo, who sound as scary as they look.
If you like 60s pop, beat, psych, Northern Soul then this is an absolute must buy. Can’t wait to see them do it live in May