The Primitives, remember them? I’m guessing you at least remember Crash if nothing else. Well, the band are back, with an album of obscure ’60s covers called Echoes and Rhymes.
Yes, that’s right, a covers album. I share your concerns. For me, there are three major pitfalls of cover albums:
1. You pick a load of obvious tunes to cover
2. You try and sound like the original tracks
3. You wander into a modern studio to record them, sucking the life out of the original ‘sound’
Well, I have got good news. For me, Echoes and Rhymes avoids all those pitfalls. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying it’s a damn good record.
The 14 tracks on here are an interesting bunch. If you’ve got a working knowledge of ’60s underground sounds, you’ll probably think there are a few obvious tracks on here. But for the average punter, the tunes here are obscure, ranging from 60s and norther soul through to garage and psych. An eclectic bunch, if you like.
I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a winner all the way. As ever with these kind of things, there are ups and downs. But there are more ups than downs and nothing that makes me shake my fist in anger.
Standouts for me include the band’s take on Bonnie St Claire’s psych-y floorfiller I Surrender, album opener Panic (yes, the northern tune by Reparata and the Delrons), the wonderfully catchy Turn Off The Moon (which you can hear below this review and originally recorded by 14-year-old Sue Lyon), a take on Polly Niles’ Sunshine In My Rainy day Mind (which I think is from the ’70s, blowing my ’60s covers description out of the water), the rather dark version of The Witch (Adam and Eve) and album closer Wild Flower, with guitarist Paul Court taking lead vocals for a manic version of the She Trinity tune.
Not sure I’m overly sold on the band’s versions of Till You Say You’ll Be Mine, nor the Velvets-esque I’m Not Sayin’ (originally a Nico track, by the way) or the cover of Sandy Posey’s Single Girl. Not because they’re bad, they just don’t really pull me in like the other tracks on the album. Who Are You To Trying To Fool? , originally by Little Ann, sounds a little pedestrian to me too, if I’m being honest.
But I’m probably just being a bit picky there. Overall, this is a really good album and an unexpectedly good album too, if I’m being honest. I never thought I’d be sat here raving about a new album by The Primitives.
But I am, because it’s well worth checking out when it hits the shelves on 30th April (although you can order a copy now).