Sony/Columbia - 41 minutes

We're all post-modernists now, and bands are no exception. Originality is history (and history originality) as the relentless plundering of rock's back catalogue continues.

The only difference now is how well it's done. Stick Oasis and the Strokes in the sin bin. While the latter are at least entertaining, both bands are so woefully derivative that they should really look for gigs on the ever-expanding tribute band circuit.

Primal Scream are a more attractive proposition. Bobby Gillespie's ear for the zeitgeist and his address book stuffed full of musical talent might not always deliver the goods, but when they have, the results are usually stunning.

Sci-fi movie fans are aware of the truism that only every second Star Trek movie is good, for every 'Wrath of Khan' there's a 'Search for Spock'. The same applies to the Scream. Their risible debut, 'Sonic Flower Groove' was dwarfed by the magnificent Screamadelica, which in turn was followed by the unbearable 'Give Out But Don't Give Up', which was overshadowed by the excellent 'Vanishing Point' get the idea.

So, ignoring 'Echo Dek', (their full-length dub remix of 'Vanishing Point') 'Evil Heat' should be one of the good albums. And looking at the personnel involved, it's hard to see how it couldn't be. 'Evil Heat' features work from Andy Weatherall, Keith Tenniswood, Jagz Kooner, Kevin Shields, Jim Reid, Mani & (gulp) Robert Plant.

The album begins with a swirl of electronics and spacey guitars that echoes the minor key abstraction of Radiohead as much as any old school influences. 'Miss Lucifer' recalls 'Vanishing Point's incendiary 'Kowalski' (sadly, without matching Mani's thunderous bassline).

'Detroit' sees the Scream jump on the painfully hip electro pop bandwagon, the Stones colliding with Gary Numan with superb results. 'Rise's lyrics are classic Gillespie, revolutionary psychobabble that reads stupidly, but sounds fantastic. Pity they didn't stick to their guns and their original title - 'Bomb the Pentagon'.

But 'Evil Heat' falls just short of being a Primals classic. Its modishness is impeccable, with the band nodding to all the right influences (Stooges, Kraftwerk, 80s pop) and the delivery is as "in yer face" as you'd expect. But the album lacks the brain-blasting anthems that we know the Scream can deliver. There's nothing of the calibre of 'Higher Than The Sun' or 'Kowalski' on the album. It might be evil, but it could be hotter.

Luke McManus

Tracklisting: Deep Hit Of Morning Sun - Miss Lucifer - Autobahn 66 - Detroit - Rise - The Lord Is My Shotgun - City - Some Velvet Morning - Skull X - A Scanner Darkly - Space Blues Number