THERE’S more light but much less of an Exile On Main Street parody here than on much of the band’s recent work, as Bobby Gillespie submerges us in his wonderful world of psychedelic paranoia.
1st International, £13.99
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Shorn of the driving bass of Gary “Mani” Mounfield, he is reunited with the core team at the heart of the band’s finest 40 minutes, Screamadelica. Kevin Shields announces his presence from the off, exploding his guitar in and around epic opener 2013, this very year invested with unexpected cultural significance.
Flavoured with a saxophone wooziness drawn from Ziggy or Aladdin Sane, it is sleazy but sumptuous. But the strength of More Light comes from the consistent quality of the songs, hitherto not one of the band’s stronger points. River Of Pain’s twisting melancholy is mesmerising, while Culturecide is one of Bob’s most captivating sloganeering workouts, with a strong tang of John Lydon, complete with wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The Scream have discovered they have more than one default setting, eschewing the bawdy rock-gospel workouts for Tenement Kid’s bright-eyed melody or Elimination Blues and its Robert Plant vocal vibe. The tautly strung riff struts and snarls without straining at the leash. Walking With The Beast is much more mellow than the title suggests, and this album much better than we have the right to expect.
• Download this: Elimination Blues, 2013