Primus - Antipop

by Stephen Thompson.

Taken from The Onion, October 28, 1999.

For all its accomplishments--highly regarded early recordings, a stint as a Lollapalooza headliner, interesting CD-ROM experiments, the ubiquitous South Park theme--Primus has a lot of sins to answer for. For starters, its bottom-heavy rock stomp helped inspire a generation of Limp Bizkits. For another, its last few albums are the sound of a band devolving from electrifying eclecticism to cartoonish weirdo wankery. The most recent, 1997's The Brown Album, was a horrific piece of tunelessly turgid junk, proof that Primus' unmistakable sound requires more than Les Claypool's bass wizardry, silly voices, and loopy storytelling. The new Antipop doesn't quite reclaim the roiling power of Frizzle Fry or Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, and it certainly won't win over anyone not already enrolled in the band's cult, but it's Primus' best album in years. While its immediate predecessors were content to tread muddy water, Antipop piles on the comparatively slick anthems, not to mention the guest producers: Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Tom Waits, and Matt Stone (the big-haired guy from South Park) all help out here and there. The result is an assured collection of songs that can only cement Primus' enviable, commercially consistent status as Rush for today's modern dork. Songs like "Ballad Of Bodacious" and "Lacquer Head" will be insufferable to many, but those who enjoy Primus' odd racket should embrace them as a refreshing return to form.

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