I realize that I'm not exactly the first person
to put forth this proposition, but I'm the first person named Mark Prindle to
put forth this proposition on Mark Prindle's Interactive Rock And Roll Record Review
Guide, so in many ways I'm every bit the pioneer that Christopher Columbus was
when he first set foot in the New World and began to dream up ways to torture
all the alcoholic feather-wearers dwelling there - Primus aren't for everybody.
But you know what? That band Live isn't for everybody either (i hate 'em),
but they sell oodles of units. Get past it. Count to twenty and ask yourself,
"Who else sounds like Live?" Well, LOTS of bands, and most of them aren't
very creative. On the other hand of God, who else sounds like Primus? Nobody,
I'd hope, or they'd be quite the miserable Primus rip-off.
See, Primus can be a
horrifically annoying lil' three-piece, but they're so darned bright and
original that it's only a matter of time before each and every one of you
either breaks down and becomes a "Primushead" or keeps on living on the Isle
where you all belong, you bunch of worthless piles of shit. Primus sounds like this -
the singer/bassist Les Claypool uses a silly nasally high-pitched voice reminiscent of Dave Matthews
but in a comical way while he thumps and clomples insane little riffs on his
bass (generally, as I'm led to understand, a six-string fretless bass) that
make you go "wha?" because, although they don't really sound like
melodies, he repeats them so many times, they can really be nought but. Then
the guitarist, mostly as an afterthought, plays high-toned leads and solos over
the top, usually with limber fingerness and little in the way of melodic
ingenuity (but who gives a shit?). And the drummer - well, the OLD drummer
played lots of clompity shuffly Rush-kinda prog stuff, but the new guy is more
of a straight-ahead kickass power drummer. That's what they sound like! Good
I really like Killing Joke, by the way, in case you were wondering.
Suck On This - Caroline 1989.
Primus, like fellow Californians Jane's Addiction
and gay Minnesotans Husker Du, decided to make their debut record a LIVE
experience, presumably in the name of saving some cash. It's good. If it
were still 1989, I'd say, "Run out and buy this album today!!! How about
that bass player, eh?? How about those crazy lyrics that convert normal
everyday experiences into quirky cartoons? What about that silly way that
the singer sings? And that bit where Larry messes up, and the singer has
the whole crowd say, 'Larry, you're a bastard!' Ha ha!" However, it
being 1997 (UPDATE: IT IS NOW 2008. CHRIST, THIS IS AN OLD PAGE), I'm much more tempted to say, "Don't worry about it, because pristine studio re-recordings of every one of these songs except the weak 'Jellikit' are now available on other Primus records: 'Tommy The Cat' on Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, 'The Pressman' on Pork Soda, 'The Heckler' as an unlisted bonus track on AntiPop, and all the others on Frizzle Fry."
Still, Primus has always been a unique band; at this point in their career,
they were more of a strangely dark take on funk than a confusing mishmash of
incomprehensible bass noises, but none the cruddier for the added accessibility.
What must the audiences have thought anyway?
The guitarist sounds like a metal guy, but all he does is solo and make little
quippity noises! Holy woo, you know what I'm getting at?
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (Nathan Brewer)
my friend worships this band, because he plays bass, and quite well. he drew
the cover of this album on one of his school textbooks... except the baby
was holding a dick instead of a bottle. anyways, i like this album quite a
bit. i'd give it an 8 or 9, not sure.
Add your thoughts?
Frizzle Fry - Caroline 1990.
2008 UPDATE: I originally gave both this and Suck On This 8's, but they're not good enough. Les was a good bass player at this point, but not the phenomenally creative and twisted one that he would become as early as the next record. So here is my original "8" review:
O have to admit that I didn't like this
record at all when it came out (I hadn't heard Suck On This, although
I'd said it to many an ornery Taco Bell customer), but after Sailing The
Seas Of Cheese bowled me over with its majesty, I returned to the village
of my upbringing and discovered many a fine bass line and accompanying song
structure located deep deep within the bowels of this record (or "tape," as
we called them back in those days). Freakish band!!! Still funkin', of course,
what with a good portion of these ditties being remakes of the live tracks
on the first album, but what kinda funk IS this? Play-doh funk? Look at the
album cover, for the love of me!
Nope, this is cartoon music, more rooted
in the twisted orchestral nilly-nallies of Raymond Scott and the anonymous
nonsense of The Residents than in the macho shirts-off drug addiction of
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Funkadelic. But it's still somehow funky (check
out the last couple minutes of "Ground Hog's Day"; whoops! There goes my
bouncy disco ass again!!!). Good album intro, too - They start off the
the exact same intro that they used on Suck On This, some crowd noise
and the drummer starting to play the beginning of "YYZ" by Rush - then the tape
abruptly comes to a grinding halt, and "To Defy The Laws Of Tradition" (to this
day, one of the greatest Primus songs ever) begins. Listen to that bass, for
Pete's sake!!! Have you even ever HEARD Primus??? God, the bass player's a
nut. Half the time, it sounds like he's overdubbed an extra bass, but he's
really just an awfully fast and nimble-fingered player. Damn ahoy, makes
Flea look like Laura Ballance!!! Ha!! Youth culture circa 1992!!! And who
gives a flying fish??? Not Jacques Cousteau, that's for damn sure!!! 'Cuz
he passed away into the heavenly ether a couple of months back!!! Fuck you!!!
This record can start to feel oppressive in places
(and that's how they meant it to feel, with all those minor keys and
whatwho), but maybe discomfort is what you
and I deserve sometimes. Take jazz, for example. I'm not a jazz fan, for the
most part, but every once in a while, I DESERVE to sit through a Miles Davis
record, if only to remind myself that there are an awful lot of musical
geniuses out there who are doing incredible things that I need to hear, even
if I don't quite enjoy them for one reason or another. That's how I feel
about other people's attitudes towards Primus. Even if you hate their style
(I don't; I love it), you absolutely need to hear them. Unlike 99%
of other modern rock music (Tool, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, etc.), Primus
actually has their very own distinct style, and man it's a doozie. Despite
a few weak tracks, Frizzle Fry is as good a place to start your Primus
collection as any.
- Reader Comments
Frizzle Fry Is the one the best albums by any band. Comparing only with
Ministry - Twitch, anything By Lords of Acid, anything by Skinny Puppy,
or anything by Nobou Uematso. It deserves a 10/10, Sailing the Seas of
Cheese's only two good songs are Tommy the Cat and Those Damn Blue
FRIZZLE FRY KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Sandra York)
Soundgarden and Tool don't have an original sound? That would be funny if it weren't
such a ludicrous statement. Those bands are not only
innovators, the songs they write are 10,000 times more captivating than
any song Les Claypool ever wrote.
ok, first off Sandra York, you're a moron. While Tool is quite one of my
favorite bands, they in no way compare to the originality and skill that
Primus has. I love Tool because of how drawn out, and melodic the songs
are. If your in the right mood, it can make everything seem perfect
(however, it's very rare to be in that perfect mood for them). But I like
Primus, because they're fucking Primus for god's sake. There is no band
that can even compare to them. Ok, maybe Oysterhead and Frog Brigade can,
but FUCK! They don't even have the same tone to their songs that Primus
does, and they have fucking Les Claypool writing, singing and playing bass
Secondly...Les Claypool = god. If him and Josh Freese were to have a band
together, I would kidnap them and tie them up in my closet and make them
perform for me...and they'd also have to play songs for me too now and then.
Sandra York, you are a moron, Tool are a bunch of wanking twits. Frizzle Fry is a great album, and improves with each listen. Just listen to Les’ manic “EE-Yeughhh!” at 3:43 on the opening track! It’ll have you hooked. I don’t care how big your shoes are, you can listen to Primus and still be all women.
Soundgarden is ultramega OK in my book.
Add your thoughts?
* Sailing The Seas Of Cheese - Interscope/EastWest 1991. *
My pal Matthew Terrebonne whines about the lack
of innovative (or, in fact, discernible) lead guitarwork on this record,
but as far as my musical ears are concerned, this is the one to watch. This
album marks the exact point in time that Les Claypool reached the pinnacle
of his powers - right before he tired of showing off and began concentrating
on more low-key ways of making songs sound awfully strange. I'm not the
hugest fan of record reviews that describe individual songs (even though I
lazily do it all the time); see, I figure the reader really doesn't give a crap
about what individual songs sound like - he just wants to know what the album
as a whole sounds like, so he can decide whether to buy it or not. Still,
I'm going to quickly describe a few here because, quite frankie, they deserve it.
"Sgt. Baker" has about fifteen false ends. "American Life" has Les plopping
and popping two notes on his neck in an excruciatingly ugly (yet mesmerizing)
manner for about five minutes straight. "Eleven" is in 11/4 time (I guess.
What the hell do I know about music?). "Is It Luck" features a bass line
so improbable and wiry-ended, you'll be flabbergasted to realize that it is,
in fact, a bass line and not just some horrible mistake made by a basset hound
knocking the guitar over with his nose or something. And "Jerry Was A Race
Car Driver"? Well, I can only speak for myself here, but I personally consider
it to be the ultimate Primus song. It singlehandedly converted me from a
non-Primus-fan into a Primus-fan and has kept me coming back for more year after
year after year for the past four decades. I don't even want to describe how
bizarre and blissful that high-pitched bass line is. It sounds a little like
the first song on King Crimson's Discipline album,
but it's got a life of its own that more than makes up
for the lack of Adrian Belew's crappy voice in the mixdown.
"Here Come The Bastards" is a disarmingly simple and unimpressive opener, but get past that one and Les opens the floodgates with some of the most bizarre bass lines you'll ever hear. It may not be a perfect record, but it's certainly a great one. Plus, it violently disproves the lazy old argument that 'everything has been done before.' As Les Claypool said at the time, "Sometimes the wrong note is the right note."
Yay for Primus and Mark Prindle!
(Okay, not "Mark Prindle" necessarily.)
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (Nathan Brewer)
hells yeah. this one is a 10 all the way through. "Tommy The Cat" was on bill
and ted's bogus journey.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Louis Sweet)
This is a landmark album. Primus is funk, but it's a kind of funk they
invented and perfected all by themselves. It should be noted that Les
Claypool is the best (and most diverse) bass player of all time. It
takes a while to understand what the hell they're doing, but once you
get it, most of these songs are catchy as my dick! This isn't their
best, though. Tales From The Punchbowl is better. ALL songs are Primus
standards that have a whole lot more melody and musicianship than any of
their albums. This one should get a 9 and Tales should get the 10...
but you NEED Primus, especially if you're looking for something new. The
only rock band out there right now that's more diverse is Melvins.
- email@example.com (David Straub)
Oh man Prindle.... you've gone and done it with your flippant remarks about
Anyhow, that being said, I'd call this my favorite Primus opus too. It's a
hell of a lot of fun to just put headphones of "Fish On" over your skull and
get lost. I also really love "American Life" with its semi-socially
conscious/historical lyric, and "Tommy the Cat" with its leering guest shot by
Tom Waits (am I right on that? It doesn't seem right, and I don't have the
disc here with me now, but then again, not much about Primus seems "right".)
"Is It Luck?" sounds quite a bit like Nomeansno's "Big Dick"!
I have yet to buy this storied album, but all of my Primus buddies say
this is the one. "Jerry was a Race car driver" is their best, but I have
to disagree with the opening statement. Brain is OK, but I much
preferred the precision drumming of Tim Alexander. Come on, you're
telling me any other drummer (besides Neil Peart) would sound right
playing "Jerry was a race car driver"? The drumming on this track is
part of why the song is so great.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Floman)
Was checking your old site
here and I went through your Primus reviews. About 3 years ago I had
bought Pork Soda and was disappointed, primarily cause I thought the
songwriting was lacking and the singing horribly annoying. Even though
I kinda liked the band's instrumental interplay, the singing ruined
it for me, and I sold it back down on St. Marks street. After reading
your reviews I decided to give them another chance and I bought Sailing
The Seas Of Cheese. Sure enough, I really like it. The tunes are much
better overall (with less filler to boot) and his singing is much less
irritating, probably 'cause the album is darker as a whole and there is
more of a metal influence here (compared to what I remember from Pork
Soda). So, if I'm not exactly a "Primushead" yet, I think I might've
wrong about these guys. I'm going to give some of their other albums a
try. Thanks for re-opening my eyes about these guys, though I still
they would get a real singer.
I'm not even gonna write about this album, my favourite Primus
album. There's what I'll do: I'll tell you about King Crimson's
wonderful Discipline album.
The first thing one should know about Discipline: If you don't like
your music sounding like 80's pop, run away and kill yourself so you
don't have to listen to this album. Specially because of Belew's Byrne
impersonation (which turned quickly, over the years, into a generic
Beatles impersonation). Actually, these vocals are just something you
pretend you don't know it's a ripoff so you can enjoy the music. And it
does sound like Peter Gabriel or any of those fuckers 80's albums, but
the songs in it make a case for that style having ever existed. And so
Elephant Talk comes to show you Primus didn't really invent anything
per se, but developed this song into a musical style. Not that I think
it was intentional, don't even know if they had heard it, but it amounts
to that in the end, cold hard facts. There's a short part in the middle
of 1973's Lark's Tongue's in Aspic 1 that Crimson put in it just to tell
Primus "Hey, we're already doin' Primus when Primus is in fact still
wearing diapers". But 1981's Elephant Talk is the one.
Frame by Frame is Rush, was Rush even remotely good. And if anyone
thinks stiff ol' Neil Peart is good, they've in for a personal
revolution when they listen to Bruford playing on any track here. And to
very musical effect does that spiralling wild drumming takes place. Not
as good as Chris Cutler, though, which is someone Rush fans don't even
deserve to hear playing.
Matte Kudasai is a yuppie ballad, but I like it. Their following
ballads were unbereable, though. Heartbeat shwartbit.
Indiscipline is the killer one, tribal heavy metal madness, only
it's really tribal, and not some english goth boy's incompetent
interpretation of tribal. It'll probably have drummers quitting music
and starting a career on accounting, too. You don't even know how this
sounded live. And that was "even better".
Thela Hun Ginget is the dance track, and is perfect. It should be
weird, but it's oddtime discotime, and you'll never notice it's so
complicated, because it seems so simple.
And then there's some armchair ambient sissy stuff (The Sheltering
Sky). Well, it's fun, actually. And one of the most watery tracks ever.
Discipline, it's called. And that's what it takes for you not to pull
the plug on the album before it's over. Good it's in the end.
And I recently have gotten to the unmistakeable conclusion that Les'
vocals sound like a halftime James Chance, halftime Residents
frankenspiel. So that wasn't on Elephant Talk. I'll hand it over. But it
wasn't new, either.
I do like Primus (at least up to this album, after which all the
good tracks are the studio version of early live ones). But King Crimson
does quite change the perspective on them.
- email@example.com (Philip Zepp)
I have a hard time deciding between this and Frizzle Fry. This one
seems to be more successful because the songs lengths seem to be shorter and
they maintain a pop structure. The standout tracks seem to be Sgt.
Baker, Jerry, Tommy, Tweekers, and Fish On. The guitar work is great
on this album, Ler doen't get the credit he deserves.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (The Chameleon)
Primus are not for everybody. Definitely not for everybody. But
like Mark said there ain't one other band that sounds like them and you have to respect that.
More so respect the drummer, guitarist, and goddamn good bass p
laying. I really like this record. At first I didn't too much because the lyrics are well, pretty
stupid. Les Claypool doesn't have exactly a great voice
and the music sounds like nothing you've ever heard. But once you get past all that and start listening
to the music itself it's really quite good. The best song
by far on this record for me is "Tommy the Cat". Damn that
is funky!! Even more funky that Parliament's
"Pin the Tail on the Funky"!! If you don't like Primus
perhaps you should give this at least listen and see if your mind
changes. If you've heard Primus and like
them, start your collection here. This album deserves an 8.
Sailing the Seas of Cheese is great.
I got sailing the seas of cheese, and it's not bad. The songwriting is pretty good and the bass is incredible. I agree with prindle that the best
song is "Jerry was a race car driver" my favorite moment is the small break when you hear "dog will hunt."
- email@example.com (Robin Kempson)
primus fucking ruled the early 90's!! didnt like where they went, but who cares. claypool is one gonna kiss you upside the cranium with his aluminium baseball bat.
The sample at the end of 'Fish on' is from The Young Ones (an 80's BBC
comedy.) SHUT UP YOU BASTARDS.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric D.)
i agree with this being the best Primus, as well as
pretty much all the other ratings... except i'd give
Frizzle Fry a 9 also. You can't go wrong with anything
from Frizzle Fry thru the Brown Album (featuring Brain
from Praxis and Love and Hate-era Godflesh) Les
Claypool is the master of the bass and Ler is an
underrated guitar player, from his Possessed days thru
his low-key guitar work alongside Les. Safe to say,
Primus doesn't suck.
Suck on This - n/a
Frizzle Fry - 9
Seas of Cheese - 10
Pork Soda - 9
Punchbowl - 8
Brown Album - 8
Antipop - haven't heard all of it, but the song with
Fred Durst must be horrible...
Add your thoughts?
Miscellaneous Debris EP - Interscope/Atlantic 1992.
Five covers - Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar,"
Residents' "Sinister Exaggerator" and a few others I hain't never heared never.
It's good but who gives a shit? Who frikking needs covers? Oh sure, on a
chilly December's eve, it's lovely to have a cover to keep one warm, but isn't
a heater every bit as delectable? Of course it is, and you know darn well
that that which I am speaking of which is how I feel to be, pillows? Of course!
Poofy, mind you, but not TOO poofy -- I don't want my neck sticking up at a
90-degree angle like some kind of boner.
- Reader Comments
I heard the song Have A Cigar by them and I was dumbfounded by the bass line. Of course I heard My Name Is Mud first, but that is a damn good cover of a Pink Floyd song. It's way better then Kitties cover of Run Like Hell, and a little better then Korn's cover of Another Brick In The Wall. What really sets this album off is indeed, like all the other album, the bass workings of Les. I like the bass to the song Tippi Toes and Making Plans For Nigel. I think it could have gotten a 8 at the most, but a 7 will do. I enjoyed the album and still do. Peace.
Add your thoughts?
Pork Soda - Interscope/Atlantic 1993.
Sounds like Les smoked a bit more reefer. More weird
songs, dragged on longer than before. Double album. Phuckin' fenomenal. Lazy
genius results in disorienting flim-flam like the bass line in "My Name Is
Mud," which sounds a whole lot like Les clicking his fingers on the guitar neck.
THERE ARE NO NOTES!!!!! The eight-minute "Hamburger Train" isn't much more
tuneful, what with Les just slapping and popping indisciminately down low down, as far as
I can hear. (Great song, though!) He bows the bass in "Mr. Krinkle." He
makes some hilarious descending/ascending noise in the title track (what
is he doing anyway???). The band just dicks around with percussion in four or five other
tracks. And the actual songs, what few of them there
are, are bitchin' too!!! "DMV" kicks, guy!!! "Welcome To This World" doodlies, man!!!
"The Pressman" bores, unc!!! (It's actually an old Suck tune, so
Forgive? Shit you forgive! I vomit for you, Claypoo! See, this is an especially cool record in that it's nearly as amazing
as Sailing The Seas without sounding a whit like Sailing
The Seas. That album was full of show-offy weird-note bass lines. This one's
made up mainly of bizarre understated band experiments. I like it a lot!
it clear that he RULES!!!! without bothering to write any bass lines that
Now that's talent, sort of!
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (David Straub)
I guess "Mud" is actually played on a bass that's tuned down either two or
three octaves or something ridiculous like that. A friend of mine showed me
once. Made everything in the room shake. I liked that.
Man, this album is WEIRD! Which really isn't surprising because this band is
weird. And that's why I like them so much. I'm kinda weird myself and I
rather fancy you need to be to appreciate this band. "My Name is Mud" will
pound your speakers into the floor and shake your whole house. "Hamburger
Train" kicks ass even though it goes on roughly forever. But the
centerpiece, and a strong candidate for Primus' quintissential song is "Mr.
Krinkle". Other than to say that Les plays with a bow on a standing bass, I
really don't know how to describe what this song sounds like, but it rules
over all creation. Completely and totally disorienting, but I mean that in
the best way. And has anybody ever seen the video? I saw it once on 120
Minutes like 6 or 7 years ago, and I think my mind is still warped. And
yours probably is too if you've seen it! An enthusiastic 8.
Weird album, but very good! These "bass lines" are fuckin awesome! Its like he doesnt
actually play real notes sometimes, but turns his bass into a percussion instrument or
something! I thought that main "bass line" in "My Name Is Mud" was some drum overdub till i
listened closer and found out it was the bass playin that shit! I like when Les plays the
standing up bow bass on "Mr Krinkle", he makes pretty disturbing sound out of that thing!
He also uses it on "Air Is Getting Slippery" (nice littly novelty tune, with banjos and
such) and i think the title track (great song, that descending/ascending is crazy) too.
"Bob", "DMV", "Welcome To This World", and even the endless "Hamburger Train" are all great
songs, while still using Les's awesome phucked up bass style to full effect. Not a track
that i dislike on here, so it will get a 9 from me.
Yip, as Michael, I haven't had a facelift, except maybe the end of my nose, Jackson says, neverworld never closes. Which is where Les Claypool resides, in a world of cartoon characters, sideshows and oddities. The Elmar Fudd of the music world. Les lives in a world where, when you turn on a tap, pork soda comes streaming out, where newspaper men knock on your door and are called Mr krinkle, where his neighbour tries to hang himself in the doorway where he lives...(stop this is freaking me out), where trains filled with hamburgers (still hot) go continuously past, where people sail on a sea of cheese, where diamondback sturgeons swim all day, minding their own business, (hey they do) and where the air gets slippery?! all done with a sort of, slapping the bass sound. Clever.
Comment: Funny how these bands, with oddball bass player/singers make such good screwey music, Killdozer and The Beatles spring to mind.
My rating is the shaking hands with beef of 8's (if your a vegetarian thats a low 8, if your a meat eater, its a high 8)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (A O)
Mud is actually done with a 6 string fretted (BEADGC instead of standard EADG.. Les doesn't do weird tunings) by slapping and popping muted notes it's damn cool.
I too first heard Tales from the Punchbowl before Pork Soda, but I have to say that Pork Soda defines Primus better. It is the album that put Pirmus on the musical map. Les really plays the 6-string like a pro in DMV, My Name is mud is a 90's classic, and Mr. Krinkle, well that's just Mr. Krinkle. I really recommend this album, it did not go platinum for nothing folks!
Add your thoughts?
Tales From The Punchbowl - Interscope/Atlantic 1995.
Not as impressive as the last two, in that it's
not much of a step up, but it's still Primus, so if you like the style, you'll
like the record. Sounds a lot like sort of a mixture thing between the minor-key
plod blopplings of Frizzle Fry and the long-winded open spaces of
whatever that last album was called. The single was "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver,"
whose vocals make it sound a wee bit too close to "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver"
for comfort (starring Jm J. Bullock!!!), but it's still catchy and novel-like.
Another double-album, this one really starts to drag after a while, what
with most of the second album being made up of fairly similar-sounding songs,
but after three or four listens, individual tracks start to stand out on their
own merits. The songs do have individual traits that differentiate them
from the others, but (like on Frizzle Fry) the overriding mood is the
same, which makes the whole undertaking get a little tiring after a while,
if you're not a big ol' fan guy like me. New noises include the totally
kickass heavy chord-thumping POUND POUND POUND of "Professor Nutbutter's
House Of Treats," the rhythm explosion of "Year Of The Parrot" (which brings
back fond memories of prime Talking Heads while the lyrics make fun of Zeppelin
rip-off bands), the creepy super-powered chord ascension marking the changes
in "Southbound Pachyderm," that which is either heavy-duty string bending or
tuning knob twisting Cows style in "On The Tweek Again," and of course that
delightful banjo in "De Anza Jig" (who used to be in the Misfits before he
founded the multimillionaire stadium act Samhain). Hey, look! I described
individual tracks again!!! I fuckin' blow!!!!
By the way, it took me
nearly five years to realize that the album title and cover are a parody
of Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans. Sometimes I'm just not very
bright. Usually I am though, so faaaaaah q.
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (Pat D.)
This is the only Primus album I own. Alright! I confess! I bought it cause I
heard the Big Brown Beaver song on the radio. Ahhh, I'm a sellout. Shoot me
Oh yeah, this album is pretty cool, but I will never be a Primushead. I just
don't have that 'open' a musical mind to truly enjoy the band. In fact, when
I bought The Brown Album a year ago, the only track that I found
LISTENABLE was "Golden Boy" and I'm sure you all know why. I need to hear a
catchy riff to like a song!
So needless to say my favorite tracks are "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver", "Mrs.
Blaileen", "Southbound Pachyderm" and "Glass Sandwich". And by the way, Herb
is a GREAT drummer! Damn, those drum fills and rolls are amazing. And what
tone! Not like that boring Brrain dude they have now. Oh yeah, I give it a
I have only heard this cd once, and i didnt like it. it sucks. I tried listening to this after pork soda, and theres really no comparison. in fact everything after pork soda sucks.
This was the album that lost me. Primus used to be my favorite band until I discovered Fugazi. I even had 2 Primus stickers on my car. I loved the first 4 albums, but this one just didn't do it. Once you get past "Professor Nutbutter...", "Ms. Blaileen", and "Wynnona's..." to my ears it just became mindless jamming and not songs Don't get me wrong, I like jamming, I like Phish, one of the three best concerts I have ever been to, but unless I'm buying a live album I would prefer more focused songs. Wow, was that a long sentence.
Anyway it has been ages since I heard it and it is the American way to give something a second chance.
For inquiring minds who want to know the other two top concerts were Fugazi and the first time I saw Pearl Jam.
Primus kicked ass live too. The Melvins opened!!
Add your thoughts?
Brown Album - Interscope 1997.
For this album, the Primers recruited a different
drummer. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I knock it. It's just that I
am not in the market for a boy who wants to love only me. Yes and I ain't
sayin' you ain't pretty; all I'm saying is I'm not gay. This new guy seems
a little more traditional than the last guy, though not by much. He also seems
a little harder-hitting, but I don't know crap about drums, so I'll let you
This one's gotten some terrible reviews, but let's just get
something straight here; it takes a special sort of person to enjoy this band.
If you are ONE of those people, you will like this album. It's full of great
Primus songs. If you AREN'T one of those people, who fucking needs you? It's
a little disappointing to find that they don't appear to be exploring any new
territory, but the tunes are still worth hearing. "Golden Boy" is a little
sickening in its straight-up Extreme funk metal, but that was probably the
point. The rest of the album is as Primus as ever. Not much in the way
of new noises to describe for you, except for the bowed bass punk action of
"Coddingtown," but surely there's lots of fun here for you, if you like this
sound. Everything plods and stomps and there you go. I hope that the guys
come up with some new ideas next time around, but quite frankly there's no
other band out there that sounds like them, so even a particularly samey
Primus record is at
least about five times more innovative than most anything else out there in
mainstream America - aside from maybe Beck. He's got some neat stuff going
on too, considering that he's really popular and all.
- Reader Comments
I pretty much agree with your reviews, except I'd give Frizzle Fry the 10.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mary Hughes)
not their best but not their worst. a lot of primus fans trash this and
tales good same amount for me the best one Is sailing like you said genius
you are but this is almost as good. you can't really understand this album
unless you eat a burrito while you listen to it. 9/10.
- email@example.com (Phillip Zepp)
As a fan of Primus, I was pretty happy when I purchased The Brown
Album. I was a bit dissapointed with the last two albums and was glad to see
that they had returned to form. This album isn't perfect but it does
contain classics such as Golden Boy, Shake Hands With Beef, and Bob's
Party Time Lounge. Many people complain about the production but I
really like how the album sounds; it isn't too glossy and overproduced,
and it isn't too rough, it sort of lays in the middle ground between
the two. I like how Primus continue to make different sounding albums by
using different gear and production techniques. As usual their
instrumental skill shines on this release.
Well, how can you get more classy than the all inspired visions of a bass virtuoso? Add in a good drummer and a badass guitar player and you
have a half decent all-star line up. Okay, so they are a little bizarre, but just think about where society would be without the aid of "Shake Hands
With Beef." Les Claypool is undoubtedly one of the best and one of my favorite bassists of all time. I think that it shows just as well with his
acid-inspired lyrics making this guy a poet in the eyes of every Jim Morrison fan (Okay, maybe not.)
Add your thoughts?
Rhinoplasty - Interscope 1998.
Cover tunes and live tracks. Good, sure, and shows
that Primus can cover lots of different musical formulas (Stanley Clarke
cheese-jazz, depressing drab Peter Gabriel shit, shitty Southern rock, awesome
midtempo thrash metal), but, seeing as how I don't even like most of these types
of music, I don't get a whole slew from listening to the crap. The Metallica
cover is AWESOME!!!! But I don't need the others. Whatever. The live jams
sound like the Allman Brothers and crap, too. See, here's the deal. Overall,
yeah, there are enough songs here to enjoy. But if Primus really DOES know
how to play all these different types of music, I would prefer for them to
integrate them into their own sound (which, quite honestly, is getting a bit
too homogenous even for ME) rather than doing painfully faithful renditions
of other peoples' songs. But that's just me.
- Reader Comments
Yip, you're right Mark (when are you ever WRONG?) although if you let "Scissor Man" wash over you for long enough, it gets in, and is, rather good, but the rest is a bit too lame, it could be ANYONE playing "The Family And The Fishing Net!" Prehaps Primus are one band that don't need to do covers and anyway, they were never a one trick pony, maybe hooking up with Herb again, would be a great idea. But enough about me, the positives? Big raps go to Primus, who continue to produce their own albums, which is an art in itself, just ask Steve I know just the thing to improve the sound of those drums Albini, and "Amos Moses" has a certain charm, (good old dependable Jerry Hubbard) and the live "Tommy The Cat" when Les announces that "It's now offically a Big Rock Show" is pretty cool too, other than that, there's nothing going on, (but the rent) on this one.
Comment: A strange, shortish, mix of covers, originals and live songs.
My rating is, it's a bit of a disappointment after the "Brown Album" of 7's
Add your thoughts?
Antipop - Interscope 1999.
Bleeorg! Please scratch from the record that which
I spoke earlier regarding Primus repeating themselves too much. On this one,
they leave that precious, precious Primus universe behind in what sounds like a
blatant attempt to have a few hit singles. Maybe Interscope was on their
butts, maybe they actually LIKE Korn, Limp Bizkit and all that other rap/funk/metal
shit they seem to be imitating in embarrassing tracks like "Electric Uncle
Sam" and "Mama Didn't Raise No Fool" -- either way, the result is disappointing.
Why play a fools' game when you're smart enough to be a KING? I just don't
get it. The production is far more radio-ready, '90s and, most notably,
METAL than the previous albums, which wouldn't be a big deal if the offerings
weren't such slim pickings. Three tracks written with Tom Morello sound
exactly like Rage Against The Machine with less angry vocals (which amounts
to a completely dull listening experience, by the way, though there are some
nice guitar harmonics in aforementioned "Electric Uncle Sam"), a track featuring
Tom Waits sounds exactly like Tom Waits (luckily, the lyrics are really
interesting -- an extremely bitter swipe at Courtney Love) and even the Primusy
numbers seem a lot less bass-oriented before, which is a total mistake when
your main draw is your dextrous bassist. Hell, even the guitarist isn't
bothering to do anything interesting in most of these. I mean, there ARE some
good metal tunes on here (especially "Eclectic Electric," which out-Reloads
Metallica, probably in part because Mr. Hetfield guest stars! Oooh! And
the atmospheric "The Final Voyage Of The Liquid Sky" is cool as shit too - nice
echo bass on that one, though Les kinda overuses that effect through the course
of the record), but as a whole,
it feels forgettable. Unlike most Primus, which you can set aside in your
collection and say "That's something special and different - that's Primus,"
with this one, you can only say, "Well, that sounds like late-90s funk/metal --
slightly more interesting than your average late-90s funk/metal band, but
nothing to get terribly excited about." Oh well. A low 7 from me. That's
not too bad, right?
- Reader Comments
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul)
well, i didn't think it was bad, in fact, i liked it better than the brown
album. it's just they've been hanging around limp bizkit too long and you
can tell. oh well, some songs are totally killer though, like the one's you
mentioned. in the end, not as good as their earlier or weirder stuff, but
not as bad as most mainstream.
- email@example.com (Daniel Lawrence)
Slayer rules. Whenever I want someone to leave the room in this ridiculous
college atmosphere, I just put them on and the problem is solved. No one
understands them except myself, and my good friend Nima J that I know of! On
that note, Anti-Pop isn't very good in my humble opinion kind sir. See, I
already had this bad connotation because of the Tom Morello thing along with
the, ahem, Fred Durst production on "Laquer Head". What the fuque?!! There
are some fine moments but the whole album is just tainted with those awful
facts I just mentioned. There are some cool songs I'll give you, but it just
sounds so polished and ready for the airwaves that I can't listen to it.
It's nevertheless okay and I'll be kind and give it a 7. Wait,
no....yes...yes 7 sounds right.
Add your thoughts?
Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People EP - Interscope 2003.
Remember Primus and their hit "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver"? Remember their hit "My Name Is Mud"? Remember that they didn't have any other hits? Well, they're BACK, JACK! Like a RATACACAT! Even original drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander has returned to the fold -- which is where Primus live, in a fold at the top of a page in the book Gods Of Death by Yaron Svoray. GREAT reading if you're into snuff films! And who ISN'T into movies of old Southern men chewing snuff? And don't get me STARTED on the "dip" genre!
This EP doubles as a DVD, but I bought just a promo advance copy of the EP for one dollar, which I feel is fair since I don't review DVDs. They feature visuals, and visuals are the devil's plaything. You know how people shoot other people? They only do that because they SEE the people. If visuals weren't involved, the murder rate would go SOOO far down, you'd see your toes resting above it. Auto-related deaths would go up though.
The music on this EP is a return to old school Primus before they got all mixed up with Tom Morello and tried to be a hit factory. Far, far, far from anything remotely radio-friendly, this EP features GREAT, original bass INSANITY featuring weird dissonance, hilarious finger-plicketying and string holding, delay pedal sadness, echoing darkness, funky cool lowness and distorted thunder, supported by guitar lines ranging from far-too-predictably Primusy to fast and ugly to interesting noisetones to simple chord boringness. The only problem is that - and maybe this has always been the case but I never noticed it because their songs weren't so friggin long before - the songs all feature a couple of REALLY cool elements that never seem to come together into a coherent, exciting full song. Instead, they tend to repeat and maybe change to a boringer part and take forever to get back to the good part and go on and on for over six minutes. There's very little real energy and excitement on here - it's more like relaxed oddball, anxious Primusisms. Exactly what you'd hope for from them, but just not fully cooked.
Still, how can you not love a song that drips sorrow for the loss of "Mary The Ice Cube," apparently an...ice cube...that uhh...melted. ????
Did you dig those ellipses? I totally got those on sale. They look full price though, don't they??? They DO! But I bought 'em at the "Shit For A Dollar" Store!
- Reader Comments
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Price)
I got the album the day it came out, and love it. The DVD is good, get it if you are still are not sure what primus is, the DVD gives you a good overview of the bands work. The new tracks are great, I love marry the ice cube, can't wait for a new album
- email@example.com (Baird)
The EP is rather drab and wierd. Like you said the songs are laid back and moody, but that may have something to do with the return of Herb. The DVD is great and most of the albums are covered very well except for Antipop. Overall great retail value.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Deja)
I don’t care what anyone says……I love Primus….they are creative, funny and they bring me up in the morning! Les is the hottest bass player I have ever seen. His skills are amazing. And the drums have a unique sound. I love it how the guitar plays in the background, to Les……Primus is different and a lot of fun. I FUCKING LOVE PRIMUS!!!!! J
Add your thoughts?
Green Naugahyde - Prawn Song 2011
It's not really fair to say "You've had eight years to come up with new ideas, and this is the best you could do!?" because Primus CEO Les Claypool actually released two solo albums in the interim (2006's Of Whales and Woe and 2009's Of Fungi and Foe), as well as masterminding a disc by super-group Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains (2004's The Big Eyeball in the Sky) and five soundtrack songs under the name "Electric Apricot" (2008's Quest for Festeroo). So perhaps the real question should be "Why didn't you save better material for Primus?"
Green Naugahyde sounds exactly like you would expect a Primus album to sound... to a fault. New drummer Jay Lane, who actually performed in a pre-Suck On This version of the band, whips up a dynamic cacaphony that gives the band almost a Tom Waitsy feel at times. But Larry is still for the most part just strumming root chords and soloing, and the only new bass trick Les has developed is running it through an envelope filter that makes it go "wickwawickwawhoooaaaa" -- which he does on like half the songs. Otherwise it's the same mixture of heavy funk and cartoon weirdness they give us every time out. And it's starting to feel really stale, particularly because hooky riffs are thin on the ground, most of the lead vocals are simply recited, and one- or two-part songs are now being dragged out for five or six minutes apiece (probably as a result of Les playing on all those Jam Band Tours over the past decade).
Key disappointments include:
- "Last Salmon Man" (yet another fishing song) sounds just like "Here Come The Bastards" but even more boring -- yet it slogs along for an interminable six and a quarter minutes
- "Eternal Consumption Engine" might as well be called "Remember 'Space Farm' from Tales From The Punchbowl? I'm Totally Ripping It Off Now."
- "Eyes of the Squirrel" has one of the oddest and creepiest bass riffs on the record, but it's repeated over and over again for three minutes only to then devolve into two and a half minutes of Les fucking around with his effects pedal
- "Tragedy's A-Comin'" appears to be an attempt to whip up some goodtime P-Funk ass-shakery, but ends up sounding like Red Hot Chili Peppers bullshit
- "Green Ranger" Why does this song exist? NOTHING HAPPENS!!!!!
- "Extinction Burst," though one of the melodically ugliest songs in the Primus catalog, would at least hold interest for its bass harmonics and glass-clinking percussion were the whole thing not ruined by the most astonishingly off-key vocals to ever emanate from Claypool's face hole
This isn't to say that the album doesn't have its simple Primus pleasures here and there. The most memorable songs are probably "Hennepin Crawler" (another of those great dark funk pieces whose simple but mean bass riff sticks in your head like a glue flare) and "Jilly's On Smack," which binds an eerie Rush-style muted guitar arpeggio to a dark sliding bass motif (and tons of echo/delay) for a very powerful tale about a band friend who died of a heroin overdose. Of additional interest are "Moron TV," which returns Les to the '80s metal chords of his Blind Illusion youth, and "HOINFODAMAN," which recalls classic Butthole Surfers with its thick blues riffing and "Moving to Florida"-inspired vocal interjections. But that's only four notable songs out of like NINE THOUSAND!!!
No hang on, 13.
As a general rule, I like Primus a lot. I find their idiosyncratic, bass-focused sound pleasing to both my ear and my brain. But Green Naugahyde is simply not as creative or consistent as their previous material. I'll be the first to admit it includes a song about Lee Van Cleef, but is that really enough to earn it an Academy Award? I don't think so, and neither do my panties.
In fact, I'll let them speak for themselves:
HI! WE'RE MARK'S PANTIES! HE'S FULLA SHIT BECAUSE THIS ALBUM TOTALLY DESERVES AN ACADEMY AWARD!
I'm fulla shit!? YOU'RE fulla shit!
YES, BUT WE MEAN METAPHORICAL SHIT.
Also, on the topic of Lee Van Cleef, here's all the Clint Eastwood movies I've seen:
Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Hang 'Em High
Where Eagles Dare
Two Mules for Sister Sara
Play Misty for Me
High Plains Drifter
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
The Eiger Sanction
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Every Which Way But Loose
Escape from Alcatraz
Any Which Way You Can
The Dead Pool
In the Line of Fire
A Perfect World
The Bridges of Madison County
Million Dollar Baby
- Reader Comments
- Matt Tomasco
YOUR REVIEW IS SHIT AND SO ARE YOU, YOU FAT NERD
The Bull Board
- Jeffrey Blake
Years ago, when I was still stupidly buying new music before even
hearing it, I bought some non-Primus albums from Les Claypool to
quench my Primus thirst. I bought Riddles Are Abound Tonight (released
under the name "Sausage"), Highball with the Devil (as "Les Claypool
and the Holy Mackerel"), and Purple Onion (as "The Les Claypool Frog
Brigade"). They sucked. They sounded exactly like what I should have
expected them to sound like: Les dicking around with songs that
weren't good enough for Primus. So imagine my excitement when I
downloaded Green Naugahyde, and imagine my disappointment when I
realized what a boring piece of shit it is. If this had been the first
Primus album, would anyone in the world have paid attention to them? I
should have known better, since Animals Should Not Try to Act Like
People was a bunch of unmemorable mediocrity. Green Naugahyde is that
EP only stretched to full length. At least I didn't waste my money
Add your thoughts?