I’m Running Out of Lives: Primes’ Single “Nine Lives” Review
I’m a sucker for dark undercurrents hiding ominously beneath an upbeat, catchy chorus. Throw in somebody staring into the abyss with it staring back, all set to some killer chords and some pretty sick drums, and I’m all set for a good time. So let me introduce you to “Nine Lives,” the latest single from the band Primes.
Contrary to what I first thought before listening, no, this song has nothing to do with cats, cat imagery, or the like. Instead, Scottish-based band Primes takes you on a sunlit stroll through an anxiety ridden walk on the wild side. “Nine Lives” is basically what happens when you realize that your past is not only catching up with you, but you’re dangerously low on second chances to fix your life. “This day’s troubles” that are born from “last night’s fun,” overwhelming you and causing each day to bleed into each other. Things you used to bounce back from are suddenly sticking to you, and though you’re determined to go somewhere, you’re going nowhere. Your luck is running out. The panic is setting in. But hey, if you’re going to panic, you may as well write a certified bop.
As I sit here, I’m having all I can do to keep from dancing in my chair at this very public coffee shop. It’s odd because this song has simultaneously tapped into a solid groove and a burgeoning existential crisis. Am I, too, wasting my nine lives? How many chances do I have left to fix the problems in my own life? How many does anyone get? “Nine Lives” doesn’t answer that question, but it does something more important: it gets us thinking about it.
Though “Nine Lives was only released at the end of June, it feels like it’s been an essential part of my Summer soundtrack. Ollie Kitchen’s powerful vocals act as both a salve and as salt in the open wound of my summertime sadness. Somehow his vocals are both raw and polished at the same time, producing my ideal pop-rock sound, and of course, the three-way harmonies are simply fantastic. Sarah Monteith-Skelton’s guitar work is masterful, and don’t even get me started on Reece Ryan’s drumming, which is, in a word, magnificent.
This song would not work without the instrumentation, I have no doubt about it. Though the lyrics are a wonderful punch to the gut, you don’t get the added (and much needed) slap across the face without the slap of that bass, the drums that echo your faster heart rate, the notes on the guitar that both caution and egg me on to dance. It’s a wake-up call masquerading as an alt-rock song of the Summer. It’s my jam.
Primes is currently on tour in Scotland, with their next tour date being Butefest on the Isle of Bute, July 27th. They’ll be releasing new singles throughout 2019, and they’ve officially landed themselves on my watchlist. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for those singles, Primes!