Apocalyptic aggressive nihilistic brash earnest raucous confrontational bitter
It is frustrating how music is given labels for the sake of having labels. Yes, in a way Primal Scream's Exterminator can be described by all these adjectives. If one takes elements of the album individually and separates them from the whole, perhaps it is possible to categorize it.
However, there is something fundamentally wrong about labeling. All labels do is take the mystery, the intrigue, the feeling, the emotion, the vastness, the intricacy, the scope, and the meaning of it all--and then reduces it to an easily prodded and easily processed product. A product easy to advertise and trade as a commodity.
But Exterminator is not just loud, angry, political music. It's music that defines a feeling, a passion, and even an era. Words may attempt to describe, but all too often they fail.
From the bizarre voice-over of a girl happily commanding to "Kill All Hippies", to the manic desperation of Accelerator. From the fury of the self-titled track to the dejected rejection of Pills. From the jazzy, spooky backdrop of Blood Money to the long-lingering cries of Shoot Speed/Kill Light.
Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine fame makes his biggest and brashest appearance ever since 1991's sonic masterpiece Loveless. While he does contribute remixing efforts on some of the tracks, his production on MBV Arkvesta is worth admission alone. Never have I heard a lyric-less song with such aggression, command, and fury. All the fans who have waited patiently for a follow-up to Loveless now have even more to be impatient about.
Primal Scream certainly has come back in full force after almost a decade of being forgotten. I have tried here to describe this album in words, but only the CD itself can do that. The album is not without faults, but "perfect" music all too often becomes forgotten because it goes down too smooth. This is exactly what Exterminator hopes not to be: too smooth. It is supposed to be abrasive. For it to released in 2000 is all to appropriate in setting the tempo for the years ahead.