In 1989, Primal Scream confounded their fans and foes alike by growing their hair past their shoulders, buying Marshall amps and turning them up to 11, and by showing an alarming tendency to appear in public shirtless. Previously the Scream had been the most precious of indie poppers, Byrds fans down to their fringed jackets and freshly-combed bowl haircuts. However, their major-label debut, a pristine pop record, was a big flop, and after they booted out co-founder Jim Beattie, they were ready to fully embrace rock & roll and all the attitude and noise that came with it. Out went the Byrds, in came the MC5, and Primal Scream was ready to rock.
The missing link between early Primal Scream and Beattie's later group, Adventures in Stereo, Spirea X tried to place Beattie's freakbeat obsessions in the cultural milieu defined by the likes of Ride and My Bloody Valentine. In 1991, the group released the Chlorine Dream and Speed Reaction singles, along with the full-length Fireblade Skies on 4AD. Combining sweet vocal melodies with alternately noisy and blurry bursts of guitars and dance beats, the record was definitely up on the then-current sound of the U.K., but it failed to make much of an impression with consumers and cynical tastemakers. A brittle, largely electronic version of Love's "Signed D.C." points in the direction that Beattie and Boyle would later pursue with Adventures in Stereo.
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Spirea X - Nothing Happened Yesterday
Spirea X - Confusion in my Soul
Spirea X - Signed D.C.