by Matt Wilkinson
Get ready, Primus freaks! They're at it again and with a new set of covers. Yessir, you heard right--a brand-spanking' new collection of re tardation. No BS, just Primus doin' what they do best--re-doin' other band's songs. I find myself liking the covers best of all. No fancy equipment--Carl Thompson's name no where to be heard of on this one, kiddies, just Les on his Fender. Hat's Off to Brain. His drummi ng has GREATLY improved since the last album. He can keep a great beat l ike no one else. Solid and strong. On top of that, it's (ta-da!!) enhanced!! Great pics, quotes from Les and the guys, a great video of their New Year's show, with a nice picture of Larry LaLonde in his early years from Possessed Plus, if you know the secret word, you can get a sneak-peek at The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
Scissor Man--Any Partridge (XTC)
XTC fans will love this one. Liked Making Plans for Nigel? You'll like this one just as much. Silly vocals, silly riffs, silly everythi ng--you'll love it.
It opens with a cool little riff with Ler on his guitar. Silly vocals a re followed with muted guitar chords in the background. The chords of Ler, and the plucking of Les are done in unison with the vocals. This repe ats for quite a while. Then, Les does a few seven-note scales, going up and down. During this, Ler does a few sound effects here and there till fade.
The Family and the Fishing Net--Peter Gabriel
A really gloomy tune. Almost creepy. Really deep effex bass keeps the beat well. Again, Ler does a few sound effects here and there. Les' vocals really stand out on this one. Softer, at first, then builds, as th e song gains intensity. Sounds as if Ler did some pretty smooth singing, too.
Silly Putty--Stanley Clarke
Definitely the best song on the album. I am a bassist, and I know when I hear pure talent. I strongly suggest that anyone that hears this tune, to go out and buy a Stanley Clarke album. The songs may be kinda sappy, but great bass playing. Anyway, the song starts out with a cool drum fi ll by Brain, and heads into pure funk. Slapping and popping galore, Les really drives this song well. Great guitar effects as well. Really give s it that 70's feel to it. Brain accompanies Les very well. Abo ut half-way through, there is some fancy turn table grooves by DJ Disk. Pretty cool. Then, Les just goes all out, and just gives all the funk he 's got. Slapped mutes, pops everywhere. Then the song goes back to it 's chorus. Once again, Ler's guitar really gives it a really nice 70's feel.
Amos Moses--Jerry Hubbard
Definately the goofiest song on the album. Sounds of funk, country, and pure Primus. Les' vocals really give it that hillbilly feel (it' s not like he already sounds like that). Once again, Ler's playing is the backbone of the song. Silly little groves played over and over again 2E HA-HA!! C'mon! Yeah, you som-bitch Les calls!
Behind My Camel--Andy Summers (The Police)
Another really freaky song. Almost the kind you'd here in one of those old horror movies. Les just plays a simple riff---the same set of note s over and over again. This is really a song for Ler and Brain. Brain a ccompanies Ler quite well. High-hat grove done nicely. Highs and lows s cale the song from Ler's harmonic tones.
Too Many Puppies--Les Claypool (Primus)
Ah, yes. The bastardized version of Too Many Puppies. Starts off with driving quarters on Brain's bass drum. Cool table-top groove followed by that. Then, Les comes in with the traditional do-ba-do-ba-do, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. During this (where the muted chords should be), you can very faintly hear Ler picking single notes, giving it a very myst erious tone. VERY deep bass on this time around on Les' part.
The Thing That Should Not Be--James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
Awesome, awesome song. Here is where the roads cross in syles of music. Is is just me, or should Primus and Metallica just NOT be said in the same sentence? I'm sure they're a great bunch a fellas, but we're talking about heavy metal, and Primus.....
Anyway, it starts out with a cool bass solo--a high mysterious tone that really sets the mood for the song. Then, it's just all out Metallica. Ler, just pounding out heavy riffs, just like Les' good friend Kirk H ammett. I'm sure Ler's experience with Possessed is finally paying off! It goes through a few verses, a chorus, and then goes to Ler' s guitar solo. Two words--Kick, and Ass. Kick-Ass. Ler's traditional high-register solos shine through on this cover. Then, it goes back to total Metallica till fade.
BONUS!! The Next two tunes were played at Primus' New Years festival '97-'98
Tommy the Cat--Les Claypool (Primus)
Been wondering what ever happened to the good ol' four-string version of Tommy? Well, look no further, 'cause here it is. A much more up-be at tune, with Les just slapping the hell outta his bass. You gotta liste n to it to really believe it.
It is now officially a big rock show--those are the first words we hear Les say, then it's just an all-out Primus hell-fest. It starts o ut with Les beating the shit out of his bass---constant 16th's in 4/4 t ime--just like on Suck on This. Then Ler and Brain join in, and it goes on like that, really pounding, like the original one that we all know and love. Right in the middle of the tune, The song breaks to The Awakening one of Les' finest works [performances, really]. I've heard that this is Brain 's favorite song to jam on, because it's just him, and his good frien d Les. If you've ever heard The Awakening, you'll know what I' m talking about. It's a drum/bass duet. If you haven't heard this s ong, go and buy Les' solo album, and then buy this one, or you'll have no idea what he's playing. Great harmonics, slapping and popping is really what gives this song character. More funk from Primus. After the bass/drum duet, it breaks back into the main song, ending with Les goin' Say, babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bob's Party Time Lounge--Les Claypool (Primus)
Nothing really new here. It drives a lot better in this live version. It's like this with almost any band---they really have no reason to jus t let it all hang out, and just go like a bat outta hell in a recording s tudio. But on stage, they can be a totally different band. Primus is a perfect example. Even though it's pretty much the same song, it's a really cool jam. The first theme to the song is pretty much the same--co ol harmonics, excellent tapping, awesome slapping. The second theme, the trippy part, is a little different. Actually, not different, just longer. There are some cool high riffs done by Claypool on his E string---really deep high notes that are played very fast.
That's pretty much it. It seems like on every new album that comes out, Primus has a new sound. Just look at the change from Suck on This to Brown Album. Suck on Ths is a little quirky: Tommy the Cat... Groundhog's Day. Brown is a whole other ballpark: Creepy vocals of Fisticuffs... heavy tone of Shake Hands with Beef. HUGE difference over the years. Rhinoplasty is just another version of themselves (Primus). If you're looking for more of the same, you won't find it.