Tag Archive: Music


It’s been well over ten years since Primus fans have been treated to a proper release from the oddball trio. 2011 will mark the return of Primus to the studio for their first full length album since 1999’s Antipop, and in-between the previous and now the members of Primus have been busy, especially Les Claypool. He went on to work with various side projects such as Oysterhead(with Trey Anastasio of Phish and Stewart Copeland of The Police) and The Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, and released a number of solo albums all along with going on a few tours with Primus. One can really tell Les was enjoying what he was doing, because it really rubs off on Green Naugahyde.

After giving Green Naugahyde a good amount of spins, I find it to be a progression of Les Claypool’s sound than a natural progression of Primus. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for those that enjoy his solo and side project work, but for those that may not have kept up with a few of his other work may find this album slightly jarring. Some may argue that his solo work sounds like Primus, but to me in his other work there was more of an “open” sound, which is very present on this album, meaning that the sounds on the older Primus albums felt mixed together where as here and his solo stuff everything feels more separated(if you can follow my logic here, bravo!!). Everything is in time and each part works well with its counterpart, but there is a “hollow” feel. That open feel worked well with his side and solo projects as it functioned to show off each member very individually, here in Primus I want to hear Primus the band, not really the individual members. So on that end, I was left a little dry.

All the members perform excellently, Les doing what he’s know for and being a madman on the bass with his unique playing and vocal style, Larry LaLonde gives quirky guitar lines and blues licks, mood setting sounds, and reggae touched rhythms, and Jay Lane, well, he steals the show.

Before I get into commending Jay Lane, a couple lines of background. Jay Lane was an original member of Primus at the start of their inception in the 80’s. He left the band right before they went to record their first studio album but remained a good friend and collaborator with Les Claypool participating as a core member of Sausage and many of Les’ recent solo projects. When Tim Alexander left the band Jay stepped in to fill his shoes immediately. The relationship between a drummer and bassist is almost as tightly knit as a husband and wife, of all the members in a band those two are the ones really working off each other, and when you have such a talented and eclectic bassist such as Claypool, you need a drummer who can compliment him perfectly. Jay Lane compliments Les to a T, and to a degree steals the show from one of the main draws of listening to Primus(Les). He pulls off tweaked out jazz beats and tons of oddball patterns that you may never hear outside of a Claypool/Primus record. I found myself tailing off and really getting focused on some of the really cool beats he does, which in part would never have worked with any other bassist.

The songs on this record are kind of hit or miss. There’s some really great tracks and a handful that were just ok(about 75% great tracks). While some of the great songs sound like they belong right at home on a Primus record such as “Last Salmon Man”, “Jilly’s on Smack”, “Lee Van Cleef”(my personal favorite off the album) and “Eyes of a Squirrel”, some feel like they were to belong on a Claypool solo album such as “Eternal Consumption Engine”, “Hennepin Crawler”and “Tragedy’s A’ Comin”. A couple of songs just seem to be there as filler and really don’t add much to the record as a whole and come off as slightly boring to listen to(“Green Ranger” “Extinction Burst”). But in the end, the great really outweighs the bad.

My other main gripe with this album is lyrical. Often Les has been very topical in Primus and with his music, but almost always tackled the subjects with his quirky wit. Here his lyrics are oft at times less than wit-full and while he has written some dark and depressing lyrics before, here they come off as just sad. For example on “Eternal Consumption Engine” the lyrics come of as a straight up bash of American lifestyle and while the song has a catchy beat and cool music, the witless lyrics really drag the song down(and personally I lean towards his view on the subject, so it’s not a matter of topical disagreement). And there’s “Jilly’s on Smack”, again some great catchy music, but his lyrics, instead of coming off as a “Zappa-styled” story come off as just sad as he sings about a heroin addict that’s “not coming back for the holidays”, and they kind of hurt the song as a whole(which does have a really awesome jam about halfway through which saves it). On the flip-side he does also write some great lyrics on Green Naugahyde often too, as heard in “Eyes of the Squirrel”, “Moron T.V”(more on T.V…see what he did there, lol), and “Lee Van Cleef”(my personal favorite track on the album).

There’s enough great stuff on Green Naugahyde to warrant me to recommend checking it out, especially if you’re a long time Primus/Claypool fan such as myself or want to hear some superb drumming. I wouldn’t say that this is the best collection of songs that Primus has put out, but it does deserve a place among every fans collection. For all it’s short comings it’s still a fun listen, even if you will find yourself skipping a track here and there. Let’s hope that Primus’ next venture into the studio will be more of a Primus affair instead leaning toward a Claypool affair. PRIMUS SUCKS!!!!

So, for those that may not be familiar with the band Suidakra, they are a German trio(quartet for live shows) that play music reminiscent of Scandinavian Melodic-Death Metal and Black Metal and have an affinity for Celtic lore along with the music of the Celts and they do an excellent job of bringing all those elements together. Since their first album they have been constantly pushing their sound forward and refining themselves with just a couple bumps in the road. Their tenth album, Book of Dowth, is where they stand today and it is a culmination of all the hard work and progress they have shown in their musical career. Continue reading

I’ll admit, I’ve never really gotten to deep into the world of Devin Townsend. I do have a couple Strapping Young Lad albums in my collection(City and The New Black ripped from a friends CD) and I’ve listened to them and enjoyed them, but for some reason they never really struck me and sit collecting dust in my music collection. I’ve caught a few videos from Devin’s other projects and enjoyed them also, but for whatever reason I never followed up on my enjoyment of a single or video. Then when I caught wind of Devin’s new project, aptly titled The Devin Townsend Project, he raised my interest in it with the concept of the project. He was going to release four albums with different moods, styles, and personalities all fueled by his new found sobriety. It wasn’t so much the concept that really grabbed me, but it was more his enthusiasm and passion for the project. So, what do I do? Well, instead of purchasing the first two albums in the project(Ki and Addicted), which were quite positively received, I passed up, don’t know why. Then within the weeks of me writing this, the next two albums were released, unfortunately on the same day as the new Symphony X and Rhapsody of Fire. So, I opted to pick up the latter two albums on that day. While surfing around the internet I came across a review of the new pair of albums and something caught me about it and it went onto the “I really need to suck it up and check out these albums list”. What caught me was on the third part(Deconstruction) of the album series was that there is a number of guest vocal spots by some vocalists that I am very familiar with and highly enjoy their respective bands. The other thing, the thing that sold me was that the album is about all the answers of life in a cheeseburger. Yes, a cheeseburger, a double. So, while I was about town this weekend I came across the double pack of Deconstruction and Ghost and finally purchased my first real foray into the world of Devin Townsend. And now I’m really excited to delve deeper into his musical world and look forward to what I find. Continue reading

These days it seems that New Jersey is nothing but a place filled with crooked politicians, overly tanned douchebags, and high taxes. While all that may be true, there is also great things coming out of my place of origin from delicious submarine sandwiches to the real Jersey Shore areas such as Pt. Pleasant, Cape May, and Asbury Park. One of the best things that is coming out of NJ right now is music, namely progressive metal powerhouse Symphony X. Having just released their 8th full length studio album Iconoclast, these Jersey boys have struck gold yet again and delivered a beast of an album. Continue reading

Now this is how you go out in style. Rhapsody(of Fire)‘s new release From Chaos to Eternity brings the Dark Secret Saga to a close and also marks the their exit from the fantasy world of Rhapsody(there will still be tours and concerts under the Rhapsody moniker, and maybe other Rhapsody albums, but none taking place in the world they have created). It will be sad to see the Rhapsody saga come to a close, but they couldn’t have ended it on a higher note. Over the years Rhapsody have captivated their listeners with their unique brand of neo-classical power metal and their world of dragons, elves, demons, angels, wizards, and dark geometry. Continue reading

Where do I start trying to explain Maryland rockers Clutch.  They have a highly unique sound that incorporates the attitude of metal, the grooves of rock and roll, and the passion of the blues.  While many other bands may incorporate these attributes into their music, nobody does quite like Clutch.  Over the years they have mellowed and streamlined their sound which had a lot of metal and grunge characteristics and brought out the more blues and rock and roll orientated sounds.  While album such as Transitional Speedway League and the self titled album are quite amazing in their own rights, it’s the change in style that they embraced on The Elephant Riders that really pulled this band into being a force to be reckoned with. Continue reading

Guitar virtuoso Buckethead’s musical style is just as eclectic as his fashion sense.  He creates avant-garde compositions deeply rooted in funk, rock, metal, jazz, and pop.  In 2005 he teamed up with a full cast of musicians and songwriters and created the album Enter the Chicken.  To say this album is diverse is an understatement.  He explores musical styles ranging from trance to hip-hop to metal to full on shredding.  Everyone who listens to this album is sure to find a song or three that they will enjoy. Continue reading

Every once in a while an album comes along blows the top off the music world.  One of those rare occurrences would be Ghost Reveries by Opeth.  Not only does this album brutalize the listeners auditory sense with its harsh metal passages, it also haunts the listeners soul with its harrowing, elegant, and refined mellow and acoustic passages.  It’s not just an album that relies on the gimmick of changing pace up and down, softer and faster to show a contrast, every movement within this record has its place and every change, sound, word, growl, beat, and note feels perfectly placed, natural, and organic.  Every single sound fits perfectly into place and every sound works with its surrounding dins and tones faultlessly and in the end creates a listening experience like no other. Continue reading

When I think of film score composers three names immediately pop into my head, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, and Danny Elfman.  What is it about these three composers that strike me so hard?  It’s the fact that beyond adding great mood and atmosphere to a film their works can be taken away from their respective films and be highly enjoyable on their own. Continue reading

At the time of writing this post my music collection now consists of 1098 albums going across 416 different bands and artists and if I were to play it all the way through it would run non stop for 40 days, 11 hours, and 46 minutes.  Within my collection of music there is many styles and genres of music mainly grounded in metal, rock, classic rock, and alternative music with many oddities strewn throughout.

Given I have put a lot of time, passion, and money amassing a music collection of this size I would like to get the most out of it so what I am going to start doing is 3-4 times a week let my music program select an album at random.  I will give the selected album a good listen and then let you all know my thoughts on it.  For me this will allow me to listen to some classics that I may not have heard in a long time and also allow me to rediscover some albums I have neglected.  I hope that you all enjoy this little project and if you have any album requests let me know, if it’s in my library, I will happily review it.

Peace, Love, and Metal