Into The Primitive - The Future Primitives (Voodoo Rhythm)
INTO THE PRIMITIVE - The Future Primitives (Voodoo Rhythm)
It took a few plays to work out what makes this South African garage trio such a compelling listen. The sparse, echo-ey production from straight out of 1966 is one thing, the simple songs that would do Billy Childish proud are another, but in the end it's the pure energy and urgency of the playing that's the winner.
You did read right and The Future Primitives do come from South Africa. Cape Town, the be precise. What's less obvious is that they're white guys and they have better hair than Wolfmother. Better still, they sound nothing like Wolfmother. This is garage rock with a trace of '50s greaser rock with lashings of psychedelic twang thrown in.
Did I say they have not just simple but great songs? There's the Roky-like "Evil", the off-kilter pop of "In And Out" and the feedback-and-jungle-drums-laden title track to name just three. The stuttering dissonance and "ah-ah-ah" chorus of "You Lied" highlights another gem while "Tried To Let Go" is a potential beat anthem. Thee Milkshakes cover ("For She") is nailed perfectly.
Putting aside the exotic origins of the band (and South Africa does have a garage rock/punk scene - it's just not that obvious), we should judge this album on its merits. Which are considerable to these ears, despite constant exposure to this sort of music to the point of occasional overload. The Future Primitives aren't so much breaking new ground outside of their homeland as taking garage rock back to some of its familiar stamping grounds, by embarking on a tour of Europe in September 2013. More power to them.
Recorded live to tape with a few microphones and analogue gear, "Into The Primitive" was always going to find a spiritual home on Voodoo Rhythm, the kings of lo-fi rock skronk. If their ouevre is your bag, you're probably going to take to this.