Vanishing Point is the long-awaited new album by Primal Scream, a band that has, almost single-handedly, defended rock 'n' roll's spontaneous outbursts of aggression, bloody-minded insurrection and mind-bending mandate against all comers.
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The Primal Scream story-proper begins in 1991 with their with their "Year One" record, Screamadelica. The band's core members - Bobby Gillespie, Robert Young and Andrew lnnes - had previously recorded a handful of brilliant singles and two albums (Sonic Flower Groove and Primal Scream). They'd also earned a reputation as one of the UK's most electrifying live bands, with a confrontational stage presence that followed a direct line of descent from The Rolling Stones, The Stooges, MC5, The New York Dolls and Funkadelic.
In the process, the group found themselves at the center of England's Acid House culture, a role reflected in such in-concert and on-record favorites as "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have" and "Loaded." The release of the abovementioned Screamadelica consolidated Primal Scream's standing on the cuffing edge of fin de siecle sound, creating in the process any number of instant anthems, from the hyper-space-blues of "Higher Than The Sun" to the vast aural expanses of "Shine Like, The Stars." Small wonder Screamadelica was voted Best Album Of The Decade So Far by Select Magazine.
Primal Scream followed the release of Screamadelica with a barnstorming British tour and, immediately after that, another studio sojourn. The result was Dixie Narco, an EP that featured their first Top 1 0 hit, "Movin' On Up." Their next move was a pilgrimage to Memphis where, with the help of legendary producer Tom Dowd and such mix-masters as George Drakoulias and Brendan Lynch, they cut 1994's Give Out But Don't Give Up, featuring the out-of-the-box hit single "Rocks." The album evoked nothing less than a kick-down-the-walls all-night celebration of unbridled hedonism, fueling an extensive world tour. Primal Scream headlined the Reading Festival, sharing the stage with Depeche Mode, played Australia with Ministry and Hole and fronted an all-night gig at Brixton Academy with George Clinton and the 20-piece Funkadelic Orchestra.
Taking a well-earned rest, the group emerged from hibernation in early 1996 to contribute a slow-motion instrumental to the soundtrack of Irvine Welsh's international hit movie Trainspotting. The band's relationship with the writer goes back to early 1994, when Welsh interviewed them for a magazine article. The creative collaboration would extend to Primal Scream's first single release in nearly two years, with lyrics by Welsh: "The Big Man & The Scream Team Meet The Barmy Army Uptown." The single was made available for one week only and had fans rushing UK record stores to beg, borrow or steal a copy of the instant classic.
For the remainder of 1996, Primal Scream holed up in a tiny studio in Camden, recording a wide variety of songs in an equally diverse selection of styles, that ranged from serene-paced dub and early '70's New York punk to throbbing covers of Motorhead tracks. Along the way, Primal Scream added two new members: bassist and former Stone Roses mainstay Gary "Mani" Mounfield and drummer Paul Muireany.
Vanishing Point, inspired by the Richard Sarafian's speed-driven '70's road movie of the same name, was co-produced by Primal Scream and Brendan Lynch (previously on hand for various Give Out But Don't Give Up tracks) and features a special guest list that includes Augustus Pablo, the Memphis Horns, Glen Matlock and Andrew Weatherall. The album's debut single, "Kowalski" - named after the hero in Vanishing Point has already been released to press and public acclaim in the UK.
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