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Primal Scream 

Evil Heat (Sony U.K.)

Primal Scream, one of the great rock bands, doesn't make it easy. The Glasgow group works hard to communicate its anger sonically, but doesn't emphasize the verbal; Scream demands that you submit to its sound, that you drown in it over and over, and it often isn't pretty.

Take Evil Heat, a high-energy, heavily layered collection -- spanning the Krautrock of "Autobahn 66" and the reverent, churchy "Space Blues Number 2" -- recently released on British Sony. Whether this import will be issued domestically remains unclear. What is clear is the album's urgency, complexity, and ambiguity. Like other Scream albums, it mixes rant and rave, vocals and instrumentals, homages and explorations. Its guests include Robert Plant, whose harmonica wails in the stomping psychedelic blues number "The Lord Is My Shotgun," one of the album's toughest tracks; supermodel Kate Moss, on a plush, twitchy remake of the Nancy Sinatra-Lee Hazelwood hit "Some Velvet Morning"; and Jim Reid of the now-defunct Jesus and Mary Chain, rejoining early JAMC mate/Scream vocalist Bobby Gillespie on the nasty, punky "Detroit." On these scintillating cuts, and throughout Evil Heat, Scream scrambles the sound of things falling apart with the sound of things coming together, daring you to wonder whether its message is one of Armageddon or aspiration. It's dangerously, thrillingly expert at both.

More by Carlo Wolff

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