Primus: Green Naugahyde

Even though I absolutely love this band, they really pissed me off with album by naming it something that cannot be pronounced by any normal human other than Les Claypool himself. Besides having an irritating album title, this highly anticipated new album by Primus, I think most fans will be slightly disappointed. After TWELVE years of waiting for a new Primus album (I don’t count “Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People” because technically that was an EP), I wasn’t really happy or impressed with the band’s performance. However, keep in mind when reading this review that i’ve only listened to the album once so far. Who knows, maybe its a grower. So far….not so good.

The album starts off with pretty much a minute and a half of just wind blowing leading to the first song, “Hennepin Crawler”. This song actually isn’t that bad and it’s in the true classic Primus style. The next song, “Last Salmon Man is also a good tune, but because it’s over six minutes long, it kinda dips in the middle. It’s a good song though and the bass is so heavy even though the rest of the band is much lighter. “Eternal Consumption Machine” isn’t bad either. Lyrically it’s funny because it’s talking about how everything is made in China and how China is going to take over the world.

From here on out, this is where I start to have problems with this album. “Tragedy’s A’ Commin” sounds EXACTLY like “Balled of Bodacious” off of the Antipop album. The next two songs, “Eyes of A Squirrel” and “Jilly’s On Smack” are both really goofy, like any Primus song, but they’re also long and just plod along for the second half of each song and it becomes very boring very quickly. I don’t want to you use the term “disappearing up his own ass” in regards to Les Claypool’s performance on these two songs because I love and respect everything that Les Claypool does, but it just seems like these songs are songs that just wouldn’t fit on a Les Claypool solo album, therefore, by putting the Primus stamp of approval on it, it might get better results than if he released it just as Les Claypool. I don’t know if any of you ever heard “Of Foe and Fungi” (Les Claypool’s 2009 solo release), but it sounded like Les Claypool and a bunch of other guys, much like all of the other solo projects that Claypool was involved in while Primus had split (Oysterhead, Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains and Claypool’s solo albums). I just feel like Claypool is running out of ideas, couldn’t seem to get anywhere with his solo work and other side projects, so he is trying to keep everything alive by reforming Primus because thats the group that everyone loves.

I dont know, maybe I expected too much from Primus considering their amazing track record, but I was hoping for another “Frizzle Fry” or “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” where every song was a classic. Some songs on here are ok, but there’s no “John the Fisherman” or “Too Many Puppies” or “Tommy the Cat”. It’s really quite disappointing because Les Claypool is a musical genius and can play the bass better than almost anyone and he still is, so if you want to listen to this record and be amazed by Clayool’s skills on the bass, then by all means, check this album out. But beyond that, there isn’t much holding this record up. Some songs here and there are good and classically goofy like a traditional Primus record, but the songs that used to be there on simply aren’t.

In my opinion, the best songs on this record would be, “HOINFODAMAN”, “Hennepin Crawler”, and “Last Salmon Man”, but that still isn’t saying much, because if I went and saw Primus live, there are SO many other songs that I’d rather hear them play, I don’t think I’d be crushed if i didn’t get any songs from is record in a live set. When you stack up all of Primus’s best songs from 1990-1999, you can easily fill a full seventy-five minute to an hour and a half set of all classic Primus songs. I really just don’t need these songs and it pains me to say that about a Primus record, but they set the bar so high back in the 90s and  just don’t think Claypool has made anything really noteworthy since then. And who knows? Maybe i’m wrong. Maybe i’m the only one that thinks this is a bad record. I could be alone in this and everyone else may think that this is a brilliant record. If you completely disagree with me, then please call me out on it.

I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

Luke Helker


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