Primitive Calculators are the sort of band that are fun for the whole family. No, seriously, next time you get together for a big reunion, take Grandma and Cousin Jeffrey to a Prim Calcs show. Granny will probably have a heart attack, but she’ll go out in a fit of glory. I mean that literally, as listening to Primitive Calculators, one needs to be mentally, emotionally and sexually prepared to being exposed to a sensory overload.
‘The World is Fucked’ is the debut record from Primitive Calculators, and while that seems like an unordinary musing, you’ll be kind of shocked to know that this thing has been in a gestation period since the late 70’s. That’s sort of a lie, because Prim Calcs broke up after two or so years, and only recently re-united in 2009, but isn’t it way more of a romantic notion to think that this album has just been sitting on some factory floor, waiting to be released to the world? Uhhh, hidden musical treasures from lost periods of history are kind of a personal fetish.
Anyway, Primitive Calculators have lost none of the zest and zealotry that made them stand out all those years ago, when they popped up with ‘Pumping Ugly Muscle’ and that Michael Hutchence film ‘Dogs in Space’. Again, I tell a lie, as although these guys are older than the majority of the Galapagos Island tortoises, they have a visceral and violent beauty to them that envies Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers. The snarling wolverine vocals, the splintering serial killer synths and the guitar that bassically screams ‘Here’s Johnny!’ over and over again all combines for a listening experience that puts the description of ‘unique’ to shame.
Every song on this album is blunt, to-the-the point and fucking savage. If GG Allin had a Roland shoved up his arse and an anarchic vulture as a voice box, then you might get something along the lines of the songs from ‘The World Is Fucked’. Although I can’t gush about every track, there are a few that stand out. Opener ‘No’ empties itself into your brain at a terrifying pace, a rotting corpse of synth-punk, buzzing buzzards crowding the space of the song as it pushes its undead self into Australian musical history. ‘Love’ is another to-be-classic Primitive Calculators track, with industrial machinery fucking over a Nick Cave-meets-confused-transexual monologue that undoubtedly turns more explosive that a Michael Bay film with an unlimited budget. Finally, ‘Dead’ is a track made for those who express themselves through music. There could be a ninja-spewing dragon, and it would still not be as deadly and macabrely fascinating as the outpour that is ‘Dead’. This song is what Trent Reznor was hinting at on Nine Inch Nails ‘The Downward Spiral’, but wrapped in that coarse Australian tongue, and thrust in and out of your mind like a Banshee with Parkinsons, you can’t help but fucking love this song and let the bubbling rage consume you.
With its one-word song titles, black and bleak outlook, and chainsaw atmosphere, The Primitive Calculators have created the perfect object of fascination. From the moment this record starts, your mind will slide into wondrous, apocalyptic oblivion. You’ll never be able to hear a song without wondering how Primitive Calculators could fix it. Despite being around for so long, Primitive Calculators sound is un-appropriatable, and the only people that can do it well is Primitive Calculators themselves. Rough, real and inspiringly original, ‘The World Is Fucked’ is about the best you could hope for in terms of a debut Prim Calcs record.
Lucky you, the record is going for an astonishing $9 over at Chapter Music’s Bandcamp, which is essentially the most obvious sign in the world that you need this record in and around your brain as soon as possible.
Primitive Calculators are playing in Melbourne on Thursday, November 21st, which means it can’t be too long till they make the trek up to Sydney town, hopefully sooner, rather than later.