Primus ‘Green Naugahyde’ – album review
Let us cut to chaff here, this is the best Primus album yet.
A curious anomaly in the endless rush of rock, Primus operate under no-one else’s rules. They are obviously very smart, maybe a bit too smart, they create a music that is impossible to label, they are brilliant musicians but they don’t get bogged down in technicalities, they have a dark and insane imagination and are out on their own.
The band, whose debut album, ”ËFrizzle Fry’ released in 1990, created a whole new language in music have been on their own wilfull and oddly successful path since then.
Built around the dextrous bass playing of Les Claypool the band have released a series of albums infused with a very American Zappa-esque sense of humour. There are plenty of off kilter moments and some stupendous grooves that often get erroneously labelled as funk metal but are out on their own. Claypool is a wonderful bass player and on ”ËGreen Naugahyde’ he takes his bass a step further into the unknown, bowing it, slapping it, coaxing it and making weird noises with it but always driving the songs with an imagination and wilful intelligence that really marks the band out.
The band, who had seemed to be slowing down after their last album seven years ago have been reinvigorated with new drummer Jay Lane firing up Claypool and the songs pour out, each with its own unique atmosphere.
Taking pot shots at capitalism on ”ËEternal Consumption Engine’, a dark tale of an old fisherman on ”ËLast Salmon Man’ that brings in the sort of story telling that Tom Waits who Les Claypool plays bass for sometimes would have been proud of and a dark tale of a descent into heroine abuse on, ‘Jilly’s on Smack’.
The grooves are bouncy, the imagination is let loose and the album’s songs many hues and textures are mind-blowing.
Primus have been away too long but if it takes seven years to come up with an album this well thought out and with this loose, yet perfect, communal mind playing then the time has been well spent.