Laundry - Blacktongue

by Matt Peiken.

Taken from Modern Drummer.


Slowly but surely, Tim Alexander's signature style is raising eyebrows away from the narrow fan core of Primus. It's no coincidence that Herb has taken advantage of his regular band's extended break to record with artists that spotlight a broader range of his talents.

Laundry, Herb's latest project, leans to odd meters and quirky bass lines that have set Primus apart in modern rock circles. But Laundry also plays a heavier, more dynamic music somewhat reminscent of Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson.

Herb obviously relishes the change. You can hear the Neal Peart influence on songs such as "Canvas" and "Skin", but Herb has been around long enough to earn his own trademarks: His crips double stroke hi-hat runs, double-bass flurries, and smooth single stroke rolls are all over this record. And because Varriale concerns himself with the bottom end, Laundry shows a rhythmic cohesion that Primus rarely achieves or seeks.

Outside of Hawkins' voice, there's a lot to like about this band, which comes at a time when strong musicianship can find its way to the charts.

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