New Primals Wraith EP Release Show/Tour Kickoff Monday, September 11th @ the Mansion
Look at this artwork to New Primals’ debut EP, Wraith.
Does it confuse you?
Are you intrigued? Sure – confusing things are often intriguing.
Perhaps it frightens you just a little. People tend to fear what they don’t understand; it’s our nature – we’re only human, after all.
Still feel like Bill Murray and Steve Martin gawking and expounding on the question, “What the hell is that?”
Good – you’re off to a great start.
Now listen to this.
That’s New Primals, and they are a rock-and-roll band from Minneapolis, Minnesota making art in the first half of the twenty-first century. It is indicative of its time, sure; but what a time it is. “Punk” would be the first label that comes to mind; but make no mistake – this is resistance rock.
New Primals are Sam Frederick (guitar/vocals), Eric Nordling (bass), and Andrew Kurtz (drums). If DNA grew up on Amphetamine Reptile material instead of John Cage and somehow drafted Animal from the Muppets on drums, they’d sound like New Primals. Live, they roam their audience in search of blood (and love–again, we’re only human). “Exaltation” seems like too little a word for their zeal: Kurtz often has a hard time keeping his drum set in one piece, and I’ve seen Fredericks take to Nordling’s shoulders and parade through their set with…well…I wouldn’t say grace, exactly. How the hell could such a volatile experience be dictated to audio, you might wonder? I don’t know how they did it, either; but Wraith is the first-born result.
Wraith is a sonic calculus equation that refuses to show its work; not out of ignorance, but indignation. Nordling (who wears so many hats around the Twin Cities music scene he might as well be an Esphyr Slobodkina character) directs traffic with his inimitable bass while Kurtz blasts rhythms into the listener’s ears like his name was Little Boy. Which isn’t to take anything away from Frederick’s guitar. No matter what the EVH congregation says or thinks, it takes skill and precision to sound like you’re having a heart-attack. (“Bark!” and “Howl!” indeed)
While the scronks and screams of “Spazz Chop” and “Wraith” may sound like…well, scronks and screams to the untrained ear, Frederick’s Gibson SG is a reactionary tool accentuating the emotional verisimilitude of the band’s music.
You’re sorely mistaken
You must trust these men
You must go back to bed, and
Calm yourselves down!
You’re so sorely mistaken
You disturb the peace
You disturb the sleep
– “Pig Academy”
New Primals command their listener’s attention and they will not be ignored – that heart-attack is going to spread itself one way or another.
There is more to this power trio than simple sonic violence, however. Like I said, New Primals are resistance rock; and when you add up all the scronks and screams and drum-plosions, you’ll find a deeper level of awareness.
Bon exemple: “Death Hoax” finds the band in top form in every way. They lurch and groove with such feeling you’d think they were proselytizing (because they are). Assimilation is the undercurrent of any tide of fear, the human requirement to belong:
Oh! Oh! Oh!
You’re all perfect
Uh uh-huh uh!
LOVE ME PLEASE
SET ME FREE
Born in the USA
Smells like the US of A, ay!
Death in the USA
Smells like the US of A, ay!
If New Primals convey any type of “message”, for my money, it would be one of preservation, awareness, and love; for one’s fellow man, but utmost for oneself.
There’s a lot of darkness in the world these days, in our own backyard and abroad. It’s very easy to focus on the darkness, to succumb to fear and allow the clouds to roll over like a suffocating afghan. But it takes courage to pull a Dylan Thomas.
As Kurtz put it, “This band means the world to me and this music has helped me crush some of the darkness in my life. Now let it crush you.”
Come get crushed, friends, Monday, September 11th at the Mansion when New Primals release Wraith into the world. They will be heading out onto the road to crush the rest of our United States the next day, but not before sharing time and space with local friends MURF and Novacron (Hammerhead, Sea Whores, Gay Witch Abortion). San Antonio, Texas friends PINKO will also be joining the fold.
Adam Johnson lives in Minneapolis with his wife, cats, and guitars.