From the outside, Primal Scream seem suitably chaotic, flitting between noise-skronk explorations and dub operas, but there's one truism that applies to the bulk of their career: if they delivered a good album last time around, they'll stumble on the next. More Light, the messy, candy-colored, psychedelic opus they delivered in 2013, found the band at something near their best, so it only follows that 2016's Chaosmosis would be something of a mess – and it is, only in an unexpected fashion.
An all-star cast assists Maynard Ferguson in this disco-tinged big-band outing. Ferguson's trademark trumpet playing is featured in all its screaming glory, and Mark Colby contributes a couple of high-energy sax solos. "Primal Scream" and "Invitation" sound as though they were lifted right off the mid-'70s disco dancefloor, complete with T.S.O.P.-type strings and pulsing rhythms. "Pagliacci," too, has the disco beat pounding underneath a Jay Chattaway adaptation of an operatic melody, with Bobby Militello featured on an energetic, overblown flute solo. Chick Corea's "The Cheshire Cat Walk" sounds like latter-day Return to Forever, as Corea's synth trades licks with Ferguson's horn over a familiar RTF rhythmic/chordal bassline sequence. The final cut, Eric Gale's "Swamp," stands out because of its reggae beat.