Riot City Blues

Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 19
  2. Negative: 4 out of 19
  1. Filter
    90
    This is the band's most cohesive, accessible, melodic and lyrically viscous record to date. [#21, p.99]
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    Sounds like a collection of Exile on Main Street outtakes--and often good ones at that. [25 Aug 2006, p.86]
  3. Stupid, clichéd, utterly ridiculous for sure, but done with so much pizazz that you can't help but fall for its charms.
  4. It's all done with such snarling, adrenalised gusto that it proves irresistible.
  5. Uncut
    80
    It's dumb, downhome fun, and deliberately gizmo-free. [Jul 2006, p.86]
  6. This album is just a purer distillation, a more joyous exaggeration of the smaller, more tasteful thrills offered by every posturing indie rock band out there.
  7. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    At its best 'Riot City Blues' is dumb, fun and silly. [3 Jun 2006, p.33]
  8. Listened to with an open mind, it's a refreshingly retro rock & roll album that uses its waste-oid imagination in capturing every fantasy that entered Bobby Gillespie's teenage mind.
  9. Mojo
    60
    Though it's certainly refreshing after the murk of 2002's Evil Heat, the results are still variable. [Jul 2006, p.104]
  10. Q Magazine
    60
    In creating a party record that will easily translate to the festival season's main stages they've also reversed out of the narrow tunnel that, for all their adventure, they were being led into by the bombastic Xtrmntr and Evil Heat. [Jul 2006, p.110]
  11. Spin
    60
    Looks back to Dixie-Narco, their 1992 EP that brought raw-power ferocity to Memphis soul. [Sep 2006, p.110]
  12. The band mostly avoids the mythic seriousness of the past in favor of party-ready stuff like "Country Girl" and meaty rock sonics.
  13. "Riot City Blues" starts fairly poorly and gets progressively worse.
  14. Riot City Blues would make a wonderful addition to any pub’s jukebox, but it’s galling how ordinary Primal Scream sound when they’re not crackling with the sparks of invention that coloured a record like Screamadelica.
  15. The songs are imitative and lackluster.
  16. It's nice that Primal Scream attacks these tunes with gusto, but the passionate performance doesn't hide the fact that this album is utterly inessential, little more than a sampler for what amounts to a really swell wedding band.
  17. They make two kinds of albums. File Riot City Blues under "Shite."
  18. It's as if Primal Scream have run completely out of ideas and so they've reverted to the detestable fallbacks of honking harmonicas and bar-band choogles, acting like college freshmen who just discovered blues.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 5 out of 21
  1. Apr 17, 2016
    0
    A sophomoric approach to blues and a lack of memorable content make this album feel rather empty when compared to contraries. I really don'tA sophomoric approach to blues and a lack of memorable content make this album feel rather empty when compared to contraries. I really don't want to this band or this album because you can really tell that they were having fun making this music, but with that being said there is a large degree of immaturity in their approach. For example, when you have pretentious song titles such as Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar, Stone Ya to the Bone, and When the Bomb Drops you are asking to have people question your legitimacy. The sound feels so rehashed Primal Scream feels more like a blues cover band than anything else. Or maybe it is just the fact that this band does not have much experience with the blues, making it clear to their audiences that they did not no much about the attitude and personality that comes with it. Regardless I rather jump from the 99th floor of a building without a parachute than have to listen to this again. If something were to epitomize boring and forgetful it would be this. Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2015
    9
    Just a great rock album really. With enough 'alternative' thrown in to make it interesting.

    The tempo's high, the riffs great and although
    Just a great rock album really. With enough 'alternative' thrown in to make it interesting.

    The tempo's high, the riffs great and although the lyrics aren't all gems, the overall effect is memorable.

    It was a surprise to me after sampling some of their previous efforts. I hadn't expected the full-on rock, but it was a pleasant surprise, a very pleasent surprise! I spent the whole album waiting for a weak track to appear and, unusually, it never did.

    The gentle closing song "Sometimes I Feel So Lonely" hits just the right note as well.

    Well done 'Scream!
    Full Review »
  3. BarryM
    Feb 14, 2007
    8
    Are these people so up their own "I'm such a muso" arse that they can't see this for what it is? A bit of fun, a bit of letting Are these people so up their own "I'm such a muso" arse that they can't see this for what it is? A bit of fun, a bit of letting loose and jamming. Having fun in the studio after the mind melting previous albums. A lil bit of folkie whimsical nostalgia as we sip on whisky and let ourselves go with the flow. What rubbish some of these reviewers talk. Go find the next best Chilean mountain band playing "break through" never heard the like of it, next-best-thing- for-wankers-like-us-to-try-appear- all-cool-and-musically-superior-with our friends we've ever heard. Piss off. Go listen to a telephone ringing and tell us how it's "sonic pleasure". This album is fun. Very listenable. Not ground breaking, not re-writing musical history, just pure undiluted fun and games...and what is more...great to listen to while getting drunk on a nice single malt. I approve. Full Review »