Primitive Calculators' First Track in 35 Years will Tear Balls
Holy fucking shit. Primitive Calculators waited 35 years to release "Dead," the lead single from their first ever studio album, and it’s a total ball-tearer.
Holy fucking shit. Primitive Calculators waited 35 years to release this, the lead single from their first ever studio album, and it’s a total ball-tearer. "Dead" is four minutes and thirteen seconds of searing synth-punk that bursts from the speakers with more youthful exuberance and authentic punk energy than the entire audience of the Vans Warped tour multiplied by each other.
Best known for their appearances in Dogs In Space and that other movie about Dogs In Space, this band formed in Melbourne in 1978, made a few live recordings, relocated to London and promptly broke up in 1980. They reformed a few years ago for ATP 2009, had some live albums reissued, and have been playing solid shows around the Melbourne experimental scene ever since.
This new recording kicks things up the next level quite spectacularly, calling to mind an Australian Jaz Coleman screaming over the top of a really tasty combination of Nun, No and early Ministry. The guitars sound as if Mitch Pileggi from Shocker is trapped in the wiring of your house with a beat up Mosrite and a bad case of Steve Albini’s aluminium upstrokes. Mammoth synth bass (with heaps of era-appropriate chorus) drives the bottom end, the drum machine is fat and relentless and the whole thing smashes along at a refreshingly psychotic pace. Then the chorus kicks in, and Stuart Grant’s vocal performance punches things up to an even more unhinged level of chaos. Seriously, industrial wannabes and synth rock sympathisers, take as many notes as you can. This is how you make a song exciting. Yell the whole song and then FUCKING yell the chorus. The lyrics are honest, relevant, bleak and hilarious. Actual anger. Actual invective. This is the song you sing when your band is 35 years old and you’re still fucking shit up in 2013. Please, Universe, let me be able to pull this kind of energy out of the air when I am the Primitive Calculators’ age.
With so many new bands exploring the musical aesthetic of the early 80s for retro / fashion reasons, it’s inspiring to hear musicians from the actual era punch out a track that effortlessly vaporises the pretenders. Chapter Music has been behind these guys in a big way since reissuing their self-titled live album in 2004. Kudos to them for sticking with the band until this new release materialised. It’s a real shot in the arm to the world of experimental rock / electronic punk, made even more exciting by the fact it’s made by a bunch of Australian music legends. Melbourne has produced so many shithouse examples of bands aping overseas acts. Primitive Calculators in 2013 sound like Primitive Calculators in 2013. Thank fucking Christ. The new album is called The World Is Fucked and comes out on November 1. I can’t bloody wait. In the meantime, turn this track up really loud and think about something you want to kick the shit out of.
Follow Miles on Twitter: @M1le5Br0wn
More songs you may not have heard yet: