No A-Z would be complete without the letter ‘X’.
Because ‘X’ is very much a part of the alphabet.
But it’s not the most accommodating of letters and it’s pretty hard to do an A-Z of anything without cheating a bit on ‘X’.
But I don’t think I’ve cheated too much today.
The album I’ve come up with is very much in the spirit of a nineties retrospective.
It just wasn’t quite released in the nineties.
But if you’re going to miss your self-imposed window of a specific decade then being one month out isn’t too bad.
X is for XTRMNTR
Could any nineties retrospective be complete without Primal Scream, the band that put out what is oft regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time in ‘Screamadelica’?
Of course it couldn’t.
But this post isn’t about that album.
What about the much less critically-acclaimed ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up’? Yes it was universally panned but it still produced two of their biggest hits in ‘Jailbird’ and ‘Rocks’ and was an album that I was quite fond of, even if the critics weren’t.
Nope, can’t write about that either.
Because much as those two albums might be worth revisiting, neither of them begins with ‘X’.
That honour goes to ‘XTRMNTR’, which may not have been released until January 2000, but was clearly recorded in the nineties. Plus the first single off it, ‘Swastika Eyes’ was released in 1999.
So it counts.
Forrest Gump’s mama apparently claimed that life was like a box of chocolates because “you never know what you’re gonna get”. If only someone could have pointed out the little card that comes with the box of chocolates that tells you exactly what you’re gonna get.
What she might have said, were she not a fictional character living in a different time period, is that life is like waiting for the next Primal Scream album to be released because you really don’t know what you’re gonna get.
You have to admire the band for constant reinvention, but if you love one Primal Scream album, there’s no guarantee you’re going to like anything else they put out.
XTRMNTR is a more aggressive album than a lot of their other records, but releasing their rage clear suits Primal Scream (the clue was perhaps always there in the band’s name) because it is generally regarded as one of their better efforts. Not quite up there with ‘Screamadelica’, but as close as they’ve ever been.
Any of the singles would be a fitting way to see us out, but let’s go with ‘Accelerator’. If ever a song was aptly named this would be it.