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Echoes and Rhymes

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Album Review

When the Primitives re-formed in 2009 to play a show in tribute to recently deceased bassist Steve Dullaghan, they had no long-term plan to stay together. However, the glowing response to that show and a few others led to a tour and the excellent 2011 Never Kill a Secret EP. The recordings showed that the Primitives had lost none of their punch over the years and maybe sounded better than they did when they broke up in 1991. The release of their 2012 album Echoes and Rhymes confirms this suspicion. It's made up of covers of fairly obscure girl-fronted songs from the 1960s and sounds super poppy, but has a nice noisy bite too. Tracy Tracy sounds like she hasn't aged a day, Paul Court's guitars have plenty of kick, and producer Paul Sampson makes sure not to clean things up too much. The songs the group picked are uniformly good too, from the ultra cutesy "Turn Off the Moon" from the Lolita soundtrack to the spooky "The Witch," which was recorded by German duo Adam and Eve. The depth of their record collections is impressive, and when the most obvious song on a covers album is a 1965 single by Nico ("I'm Not Sayin'"), there is some serious deep catalog digging going on. No matter the style, whether the girl group sounds of Reparata & the Delrons' "Panic" or the ye-ye stomp of Laura Ulmer's "Amoureux d'une Affiche," the Primitives make the songs their own. They sound thrilled to be playing together again and that feeling of happiness comes through the grooves like a warm embrace. So many comebacks are ruined in so many different ways; it's a real treat to hear a band pull off a reunion with style, and more importantly, a record good enough to measure up to the band's best work.

Customer Reviews


I have been lucky enough to have owned this album or several weeks on a promo disc

It's bloody brilliant and I have not stopped playing.

I would strongly recommend buying this as like me I bet you will not be able to stop playing it

iPod stuck on repeat, no problem.

Thirty seconds in to first track and this album is well worth the twenty year wait. It matters not that this is an album of covers (none of which have crossed my path before) as they all have the Primitives sound that made me bunk off school for the first time to get tickets for Leeds Poly. Panic and The Witch stand-outs after the second listen. Tracy Tracy's vocals, lovely.

My album of 2012 so far!

When The Primitives reformed in 2009, my prayers were answered. When I finally saw them live for the first time in 2010, my life was complete. When I heard they were recording an album of cover versions... my heart sank. Why? Why record a covers album when their own back catalogue was so stellar? Thankfully, all reservations were smashed by Echoes and Rhymes, an absolute stunner of a record from start to finish.

The covers are all relatively obscure tracks by female artists and female-fronted bands of the 60's, all of which are given The Primitives stamp of brilliance. To anyone hearing these songs for the first time (such as myself), they could easily have been Primitives originals, they are that well suited to the bands style and Tracy's gorgeously girly vocals. My personal favourites are first single Turn Off The Moon, Sunshine In My Rainy Day Mind, Til You Say You'll Be Mine, and I'm Not Sayin' which sees Paul taking lead vocal duties alongside Tracy, a move which (as proven by early Primitives tracks such as Buzz Buzz Buzz or Noose) is always a wonderful combination.

Overall, a HIGHLY recommended purchase, and one I literally cannot stop playing.


Formed: July, 1985 in Coventry, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

British indie pop band the Primitives were formed in Coventry, England in mid-1985 by singer Kieron, guitarist Paul Court, bassist Steve Dullaghan, and drummer Pete Tweedie; after a handful of gigs Kieron was replaced by vocalist Tracy Tracy, a peroxide-blonde bombshell whose presence inspired a more melodic approach, which earned the group inevitable comparisons to Blondie. The Primitives' debut single, "Thru the Flowers," appeared on their own Lazy label in 1986 and was quickly followed by radio...
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