Primitive Ignorant: The Life or Death EP (Something In Construction) - review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, January 16th, 2022  

Primitive Ignorant

Life or Death EP

Something In Construction

Dec 01, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

With over 20 years experience playing in bands; some you might be quite familiar with, others not so; Sym Gharial has amassed a wealth of knowledge and ideas when it comes to creating music.

So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Life or Death EP, his latest collection of musical pieces as Primitive Ignorant, represents a multi-faceted and incisive journey across numerous genres and styles. Following on from last year’s debut LP, Sikh Punk, each of the six vignettes that make up this EP has its own purpose, its own place for being here.

That includes the introductory “Back From the Dead,” which at just under 40 seconds long is basically the sound of an ECG machine gathering pace. Its significance relates to Gharial’s close escapes from death while an addict in his younger days. Harrowing yet abundantly necessary in this context, it sets the scene impeccably for lead single “High Rise Vampires.” It’s a song that could easily be described as Nine Inch Nails making a James Bond theme with Alan Moulder at the controls. Gharial’s candid lyrics reveals one of his darkest times coming out of addiction, and how his second near miss with death coincided with the birth of his first child. It’s all delivered impeccably by guest vocalist Jamie Hall. Industrial beats underpin the song’s core, Gharial’s reflective nuances making for an altogether disturbing yet insatiable package.

On “Death Threats,” Gharial tackles an entirely different subject: hate crime. Centered around the death threats he received in relation to the artwork on Sikh Punk last year, “Death Threats” takes an incendiary look at 21st century Britain through its divisive, post-Brexit looking glass. Musically reminiscent of late ‘90s/early ‘00s big beat but with a mechanically modern twist, it once again highlights Gharial’s versatility as both a composer and arranger.

Meanwhile, “Crystal World” could be an alternative take on Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy,” only seen through the eyes of someone looking back at their past and reflecting on what might have been. Named after a J.G. Ballard science fiction novel, it’s arguably the most instantaneous, radio friendly cut here. With guest vocalist Katie Kaboose in fine voice throughout, “Crystal World” takes on a euphoric guise all of its own.

Sordid Soundsystem’s Rebirth reworking of “Lost in the Riot,” the lead track from Primitive Ignorant’s previous EP Infant Joy on Midnight Streets, clocks in at just 16 seconds short of 10 minutes. Its colossal, hypnotic like mantra is quite soothing in the midst of the rest of the EP. While closing number, “Amaya,” finds Gharial’s daughter of the same name collaborating via heartbeats recorded while she was in the womb culminating in cries of joy at its climax.

Overall, this is another impressive collection of songs from Primitive Ignorant. Its thematic journey from the jaws of death to the celebration of new life quite apt for an EP that tackles a range of emotions in exquisite fashion. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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