PRIMUS

"Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble" (ATO Records; 2014)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Poet, mage, sage, rocker and bass guitarist extraordinaire Les Claypool and his band Primus are back with a powerful project and that would be their rendition of the music from the classic 1971 movie "Willy Wonka and the Choclate Factory."

"Charley and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl was the first book I ever read and the movie staring Gene Wilder is one of my favorite movies of all time. When I found that Primus was going to remake the music from that iconic movie, I jumped at the chance to listen to it.

Everyone is familiar with the Gene Wilder rendition of "Pure Imagination" (and, if you're not, you should be). Anyway, the version on this album is virtually unrecognizable, as is most of the album. Sure, the lyrics sound familiar but that's about it. Strange, twisted, weird, campy and then a bit more strange and twisted -- that's the norm for this highly entertaining recording.

As far as I'm concerned, Les Claypool is the poet laureate of the rock'n'roll era of the 2000s and this recording is as complicated a recording as I have every heard. Not only is the band Primus on this recording, also appearing are the same musicians he used for the "Fungi and Foe" recording of a few years ago.

Fans of Primus and the classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" film will be over the moon for this recording.

For more information, check out http://www.primussucks.com

"Green Naugahyde" (Prawn Song; 2011)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Once again Les Claypool has put his considerable musical talent to the phenomenon that is Primus. Their new recording is called "Green Naugahyde" and from the first note you know you are in the strange and twisted universe of one Les Claypool. 

Anyone reading this review knows what to expect when listening to a Primus release: strange ideas and sick, twisted ditties that are centered around Les’ genius on the bass guitar. 

The band is on tour now and I have a hunch that their live performance is really something special.  Les Claypool is the Frank Zappa of our day and age. He's someone to take on society of the day and say with a loud speaker “Listen to me, motherfucker, if you don’t like me then don’t listen, but just listen to fucking something!” 

All hail Frank Zappa, all hail Primus and all hail Les Claypool!

Joining Claypool in this recording are Larry "Ler" LaLonde (guitar) and Jay Lane (drums). 

For more information, check out http://www.primussucks.com

"The Brown Album" (Interscope; 1997)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I always thought Primus was just noise until I finally listened to "The Brown Album" and now everything I thought about the band changed. 

"The Brown Album" is unlike anything I have ever heard before. It's packed full of sick little stories I have yet to piece together. I know the songs fit somehow but I have only listened to the release three times and I’ll be damned if I can figure it out yet! Oh, well. More research is involved, I think. 

I fell in love with this music at first listen. It is bass driven, jazz induced, acid metal with some killer story lines with a major kick. When listening to this recording, you can tell the bass is the lead instrument for a change and that is just one of the awesome things about Primus. This is one talented band. Primus Brown rules!

Primus is Brian on drums, Larry LaLonde on guitar and Les Claypool on bass/vocals. 

Primus get the award for the best name for a web site http://www.primussucks.com. You got to love that! 

"Tales From the Punchbowl" (Interscope; 1995)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Primus, on Interscope Records, never cease to amaze and astound me. Their recording, "Tales From The Punchbowl," is no exception. It's very hard to describe what kind of music Primus is; let's just say it's very unique. 

Les Claypool uses the bass guitar like a battering ram while Tim “Herb” Alexander pounds the drums relentlessly and Larry LaLonde adds lead guitar madness to this already explosive mix of music and players. What you get is sort of an Improvisational jazz mixed with tumultuous rock'n'roll. Add to that their majestic lyrical content and you can see why Primus may be somewhat strange, but are always an entertaining experience. 

I think the late, great Frank Zappa would have loved Primus. Their music is very similar in a lot of respects. However you label Primus they are certainly very interesting and a complete pleasure to listen to. I can't wait to hear more. 

"Frizzle Fry" (Prawn Song; 1990)

Reviewed by Snidermann

There is no one any where on this planet that can play a bass guitar like Les Claypool. Just pick up any Primus CD or any one of his side projects (like Frog Brigade) and I'm sure you will agree. 

Not only does Les play the bass like an extension of his very physique, he also writes great songs and and sings them with a style and passion that I've never heard elsewhere. This re-release of 1990's Caroline Records release is by no means an exception. Like always with Primus, this shit is just there musically, a bastard child of rock'n'roll, jazz and very twisted sonnets. 

Listener beware - you are in for a very strange, yet beautiful, musical experience. Each song on this CD is a finely crafted, sick little ditty that transports the listener to someplace not normally visited and that is a major part of the fun. 

Primus: Tim Alexander - drums; Larry LalLonde - guitars; Les Claypool - bass and vocals.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2014 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 Mar 2016 11:33:50 -0500 .