In stores July 8
by Helen Mastrangelo
I'm sure that a good amount of you have never been exposed to the "undefinable" music that Primus creates. If you're open to something new then you should try out some Primus! They rule! In fact they have ruled since they made their first album in 1990. Primus is a band that blends some pretty humorous lyrics with the great sound of some very talented musicians. Les Claypool, Primus' bass player and lead singer, is the most amazing bassist. He has the craziest way of slapping those strings and no one in this world can re-create his masterpieces. I saw the man in person and I'd say he's pretty close to God. Well, I may be exaggerating a little, but that's because I love the band! Guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim (Herb) Alexander are pretty awesome too. I am fully confident that the new album will live up to the standards they set way back in 1990. [Well...I was most definetly wrong. I practically fell asleep listening to this piece of crap. I blame the new drummer that Primus recently acquired. This album is his fault!! Do not, I repeat, don't waste your money! I promise that their other albums are great, so buy them - read on.]
Suck On This is a live album , and it features songs that would appear on albums recorded later in their career. I love this album because it shows the band in its purest form. They are a really personable band, always in a good mood. I like their music because it's not superficial happy crap; its fun-loving and silly (and maybe a little drug-induced, but anyway...) My favorite song , "John the Fisherman," is on this album; it tells a great story and the intro is really cool.
Frizzle Fry came out in 1990 and I love the clay figure on the cover of this album. I remember seeing that cover a couple years before I got into Primus; said to my Dad in the record store, "I'll never like any of that weird music." I certainly changed my tune, but I'll get to that later. This album has some very cool songs and I would say it is their most laid back album; the lyrics aren't as strange and outlandish as they would get later and Les was just beginning to develop his slap technique on this one.
If there is any album that attracted the most attention it was Sailing the Seas of Cheese. The band was really fine tuned by this album. I call this the claymation album. The videos from this album all include some very cool clay art. The cover is definitely an interesting one. The lyrics on this album are so weird, I love it! "Jerry was a racecar driver" is a song that I'm sure most people have heard on the radio, and among most Primus fans it is a true favorite. The video for this song is a fine example of the true uniqueness of Primus. The album as a whole paints the best picture of what kind of band Primus is, and yet they still don't fit into any particular category of music.
Miscellaneous Debris is a short album that came out soon after the Cheese album. For any true Primus fan it's a must to own. A video entitled "Miscellaneous Debris" came out at the same time which I love. The tape has a couple of videos on it that you'll never catch on MTV, not to mention some cool live footage and stuff with the band just goofing around.
Pork Soda . Ok , I think I can say that this is my favorite album. Les is at the height of his bass career on this album, and in fact he was awarded bass player of the year by Bass Player Magazine. Once you listen you will agree. This album contains the strangest lyrics. "Mr Krinkle" is an awesome song accompanied by a very cool video, if you are lucky enough to catch it. Another song that I recommend is "Nature Boy."
Tales From The Punchbowl is a great album and is also interactive! The interactive CD is a little window into the creative mind of Les Claypool. He did all the computer work and animation with the help of Larry LaLonde. The disk takes you on a cartoon tug boat ride through an animated video of each song on the album. This CD is cool.
Finally the part I've been wanting to talk about... seeing Primus live!
When Tales From The Punchbowl came out, Primus was on the road. I was privileged enough to see them. They were playing at Roseland, and man, the place was filled with the strangest people. I was practically the only girl there, but at the time I wasn't complaining about that. The opening performer was Mike Watt, and no offense, but... he stinks!! Since the whole crowd was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Primus, at one point we all started yelling at poor old Mike to get off the stage. After Primus set up, when everything was silent, all of a sudden the sound of Les and the drums started with the song "Here come the bastards." The whole crowd was moshing together in unison. The concert was amazing, and after two encores the band left the stage.
I made a rush for the corner of the stage and I snuck in behind a curtain and Les walked right past me, I yelled something like "you're God !" and he gave me this smile and waved. I'll never forget that day.
Primus will be featured at some of the dates on the HORDE tour and hopefully they will be touring alone.
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