Thursday, September 15, 2011

Primus - "Green Naugahyde"

Primus is back with Green Naugahyde, their first studio album in over eleven years and seventh overall. The self-produced new album released this week on ATO Records features founder and frontman Les Claypool and longtime guitarist Larry LaLonde along with drummer Jay Lane who was also in Sausage, a 1994 reunion of the original 1988 Primus lineup.

The instrumental intro “Prelude To A Crawl” opens the album followed by “Hennepin Crawler” and “Last Salmon Man”, which marks a welcome return to Sailing The Seas Of Cheese form with circle pit-inducing, thrash-punk moments, including the fist-in-the-air chanted refrain of “Go, go, go!”, egging on the pit in the background on “Hennepin Crawler”. Ever the storyteller, Les’s lyrics are as humorous as always, even when he is riffing on societal issues, like mass consumerism and outsourcing on “External Consumption Engine” and celebrity worship on “Eyes Of The Squirrel”, which features an equally squirrely bass line. The first single, “Tragedy’s a’ Comin’” stands out immediately with a tight groove and a catchy chorus that perfectly invokes the Frizzle Fry era yet without feeling tired or rehashed. Les breaks out the cello for the atmospheric and fuzzy “Jilly’s On Smack”. The carnival-like “Lee Van Cleef” stands out with a rubbery bass line and bobbing rhythm. Another standout, “HOINFODAMAN” surprises with a stomping, stoner-rock riff and some of Les’s funniest voices. “Extinction Burst” opens with a clattering drum fill that sounds like an antique cash register on the fritz alongside wah-wah and fuzz-drenched bass. The 13-track album closes with “Salmon Men”, a short reprise of “The Last Salmon Man”.

With Green Naugahyde, everything you have ever loved from Primus remains, though longtime drummer “Herb” is missing, Jay is more than capable and in time the album will be remembered as one of their best.

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