Primus - Antipop

by Bruno Basile.

Taken from The Daily Cardinal, University of Wisconsin, October 27, 1999.

Primus came onto the early 1990s alternative scene with Sailing The Seas of Cheese, an album that found its way into every nose-ring-wearing kid's CD collection.

Since then, it had a couple of sleeper hits like "Winona's Big Brown Beaver" and "My Name Is Mud" and kept touring college towns. Unfortunately, though, the group never seemed to replicate Seas of Cheese's funky magic in any of its successive studio recordings.

Primus' latest release, Antipop, is definitely a step in the right direction. Frontman Les Claypool sacrificed some of his weird nasal histrionics in favor of slapping his four strings into more bouncy, listener-friendly riffs.

Right from the first song, "Electric Uncle Sam," the shift in sound is evident. Claypool's bass does not just support the motif, it defines it and underlines it a million times.

The same happens with "Lacquer Head," which was co-produced by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. South Park co-creator Matt Stone, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Tom Waits also gave their input.

Other external help comes from ex-Faith No More and Metallica axemen Jim Martin and James Hetfield, respectfully, who came up with the crunchy-metal riff for what probably is the most enjoyable and ambitious track, "Eclectic Electric."

Moments of Antipop remind the listener of some of the best Red Hot Chili Peppers material. Claypool at times ends up sounding like he is mocking Flea on the funkier songs, but hey, who said it's a bad thing?

This CD is definitely among the most inspired work Claypool has ever done. Those who liked Seas Of Cheese should consider giving Antipop a good hard listen.

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