PRIMAL / Heart and Soul | CRASH Presents

PRIMAL / Heart and Soul | CRASH Presents

Heart and Soul is the second EP of blues rock band PRIMAL. The power trio from Derbyshire promise “soulful blues rock with howling vocals groovy riffs and pounding drums” and, as with their eponymous debut EP, they once again deliver. For those looking for a new Rock band with stellar vocals and rhythmically mesmerising beats, this new EP, free to download from PRIMAL’s bandcamp page, is a must-listen.

The opening song, Lucky Soul, immediately hooked me through drummer Greg McAndry’s snappy beat, which felt akin to The Black Keys, one of the band’s key influences. Alongside Dan Bigland’s electric riffs and Rory Wilson’s charming, old-school vocals, the track really highlights the individual talents of each member of the trio. In my previous review of PRIMAL’s live performance at The Maze, I alluded to their reliance and closeness as a band, energetically bouncing off one another. For Heart and Soul, this couldn’t be more apparent. Each member of the band brings their talent to the foreground, with McAndry showing his ability to turn a simple-sounding beat into an infectious one, Bigland creating classic riff after riff and Wilson earning his right as one of the Midlands’ finest vocalists. This opening rock track, particularly the booming chorus, also shows PRIMAL’s willingness to explore harder, edgier material, successfully drawing elements from the likes of Royal Blood and early Arctic Monkeys.

The next two tracks, Running Wild and Good Luck, explore the sleek and slow blues style that PRIMAL are fast becoming associated with. However, at the same time, they are possibly the two most unique songs on the EP. Though both feature a deep, cool blues riff to start, Running Wild features what sounds like a synthesized, gospel organ, to add a unique and surprising twist. Good Luck exudes pure confidence through a grinding, blues/western hybrid riff, a haunting backing drumbeat and possibly Wilson’s best vocal performance on both this EP and the first. The more I listen to this track, the more I wonder how this band haven’t been discovered nationwide yet. Seriously, Good Luck deserves to make it into any film or TV show that want to personify a gritty awesomeness.

Like its namesake, Wildfire starts slow and taunting, almost begging to erupt from the calculated and withheld opening, which features soft and deep vocals and a creeping riff. However, as expected from a band as energetic as PRIMAL, the trio erupt into the hard Blues Rock sound, which they have refined to near-perfection. It becomes near-impossible not to get at least a small rush of exhilaration when Bigland’s riff gets piercingly loud, McAndry loses himself in his pounding drums and Wilson delivers his howling performance. To round off, Hey! Hey! loops back to the start, ending the EP in style with another rocking performance. As with Lucky Soul, Hey! Hey! starts fast and feels like a classic rock song and whether deliberate or not, shows the trio’s poetic talents. By releasing two classic, euphoric rock songs either side of three more blues-influenced, experimental tracks, PRIMAL perfectly sum up why their EP, free for digital download, is a must-have and one that will remain on my rock playlist with five absolute classics.

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