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Primus, Green Naugahyde
ATO Records, Sept. 13

09/15/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



To me, what’s really required to enjoy (for lack of a better word) Primus is the experience of having been in a band before. Anyone who’s ever spent too much time in a basement with a half-talented bass player knows how they sort of randomly come up with random weird funk riffs and non-commercial grooves, mostly born out of the sheer boredom that’s involved in being a bass player, the guy who only gets four strings while all the adults get six. When these clanking-doonking outbursts occur, the rest of the guys stand around, waiting for the nonsense-storm to pass, which it does after several excruciating minutes of wasted time. With this in mind, Primus is bass player Les Claypool’s trip from beginning to end and has been for more than 20 years now; he got bored with it, as I already hinted was bound to happen, in the late 1990s but has now returned, professed enthusiasm over “getting back to the band’s roots” in place with this record. Although comprised of the thrash-funk and neo-Mingus noise-jazz to which you’re accustomed, it’s not gone the whole nine yards, meaning it’s not the sequel to Frizzle Fry; with random bonk-bonk-bonks a la “Too Many Puppies.” Instead it’s about past punk-funk groove glory, Claypool’s toothless hillbilly Texas Chainsaw character singing over things that sound like outtakes from the Mars Attacks soundtrack (“Eternal Consumption Engine,” which, come to think of it, is the most surprising thing here), and so on. As always, it’s strictly a vice for your bass player, who is, yes, plotting against your band. A —Eric W. Saeger

 






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