Skip to content

Primal Scream Reunite With Kevin Shields, Wage Class Warfare in Brutal ‘2013’ Video

Primal Scream, Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine, 2013

Primal Scream’s biggest cultural influence came with 1991 album Screamadelica, when they set a hippies-turned-ravers template for psychedelically inclined rockers embracing what was then not yet known as EDM. But the Bobby Gillespie-led Glaswegian band has been stylistically mobile ever since its early forays into jangly indie pop, and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields all but officially joined the group on 2000’s politics-sharpened XTRMNTR and 2002’s Kate-Moss-stunt-casting Evil Heat. With Shields’ main band triumphantly surprising the world earlier this month via m b v, Primal Scream have returned, as Pitchfork points out, with a video that features the MBV whale-whisperer’s guitar work.

Primal Scream have previously said they’d be releasing a new album titled More Light this year, but now the record has at least a U.K. release date: May 6. It’ll be out via the group’s new label, First International. For what it’s worth, Shields isn’t even the only MBV member to guest on the LP; bassist Debbie Googe has also been confirmed, though it’s unclear whether she plays here.

The new “2013” video hones in on a 4:09 chunk of a nine-plus minute More Light track, and it’s, well, a lot to digest. Gillespie snarls weedily about a “21st-century slaves, a peasant underclass” over feedback-strewn Big Pink-meets-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rock chug. And the unkillable indie-sax trend pops up again here, this time with an actually refreshing Spanish-bullfighter feel. The video shows a couple in Kanye West-style masks embracing, a moth being stabbed, aristocrats being bathed and force fed, a body being bound up in ropes — you know, America’s traditional President Day’s imagery.

There’s at least a nipple or two, and while the context is probably androgynous enough to avoid IT departments’ porn sensors, it still might be a better bet not to watch this at work. You get the sense Gillespie would recommend quitting your job anyway. How else will have you time to start a revolution?

(By the way, confidential to Muse, this is how you call for an uprising without potentially getting “hijacked” by the right. Then again, Thomas Frank and his Baffler magazine have been arguing since the ’90s that an empty posture of rebelliousness is actually part of the system, not a revolt against it. Then again: Kevin Shields.)