From the group’s name, you almost immediately obtain a feeling of dirtiness, of rambunctious early man, where clubs were common weapons and dinosaurs arm-wrestled gorillas. ‘A Primitive Evolution’ rocks, and not in the cheesy way Boston and Tom Petty rock when they are trying to flirt with middle-aged woman. This is the real rock, the RAWK that the young and cool dinosaurs enjoy, not the ancient old man Foreigner fan type dinosaur.
Let’s get to the point. ‘A Primitive Evolution’ is a fun, exciting, and likable group who employ fast-paced guitar rock energy, with a dirty down-south swagger that makes them channel the sounds of Queens of the Stone Age and Jack White with equally successful aplomb.
Chants galore, muddy riffs remain intact and tin-can drums highlight the tracks with kinky sheen. This and much more in the groups sophomore album ‘The Prize,’ which avoids the sophomore slump with professional ease and fades the group into a new stage in their career.
The title track ‘The Prize’ is a gorgeous arrangement, a laid-back moodscape that finds the group tightly arranged and primed. The albums opening track ‘Lord of Reason’ erupts blissfully with an organic Southern swagger, and perhaps best exemplifies the broad strokes of what the band do and sound like here. But this isn’t all dirty rock and roll. ‘Falling Far Behind’ takes advantage of some sensational strings and thumping bass to deliver a pounding drama of a song. ‘Coming and Going’ is a dark dance song done right, a brooding swamp adventure wrapped in a musical cocoon.
‘A Primitive Evolution’ is a total blast of a group. Their vocalist is an astounding effective singer, getting gritty and then sweeping listeners off their feet all within a track or two. This recalls the vocal range of Matt Bellamy or Brandon Flowers, at least as modern music is concerned. There is so much in ‘The Prize’ to respect and enjoy.
‘A Primitive Evolution’ completely caught me off guard. Their musical whims rely on tight instrumentation and a tonally likable energy. They are rowdy but smooth, fun but serious, letting loose where appropriate and keeping the songs as the center of attention.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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