Tag Archive: Rock


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!!!!

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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

After the breakup, pursuit of various side and solo projects, the coming together for a final time for a last show for the fans, going back to said projects, then coming back together yet again to play a benefit concert for Zimbabwe, the boys of Dispatch have made amends and by a chance of fate got snowed in together and used that time trapped together to find each other again and write a handful of new material.  Being quite happy with what they written together after not joining together in the creative songwriting process in nearly ten years, they recorded the songs that were written and now are available to us fans in a nice cute little EP. Continue reading

Like any true appreciator of music, I do not limit myself to just one genre of music.  Metal may be the main style of music I listen to and probably will always be, but sometimes it’s nice to mellow out and enjoy something that is a little less in your face but still gives me the same satisfaction of musicianship, passion, emotion, and energy that metal gives me.  Here’s a little list of some of the artists that I fancy outside of the metal realm.  Enjoy, and as always, leave comments and suggestions, I always love hearing something new and great.  And now that I am doing bits for “A Metal State of Mind” I will be moving away from metal centric posts on this blog and trying to encompass all the music that I love(and don’t worry, I’ll still be reviewing metal and talking about metal here, just maybe a bit less, and I haven’t given up on the Music Video Madness bit either, I’m just being lazy.) Peace Love and Music!!! Continue reading

Ah, the 90’s, the prime years of my adolescence, the end of middle school, all of high school, and a little bit of college.  The 90’s are also where my musical tastes started to really develop, and coincidentally enough is where metal really started to branch out and explore a lot of different regions of the musical landscape.  What I have here are some videos and bands that really defined the decade for me and also create a picture of what the 90’s were like from a musical stand point.  Some of it isn’t exactly metal, but my list and I like the songs and videos 🙂  See you next time when I dig up some videos from the ancient time of the 2000’s.  Enjoy, Peace Love and Metal!!! Continue reading

Last night me, my wife, and my mother-in-law went to go see Italian band Davide Van De Sfroos in concert.  This would be the second time seeing them for me and the third for my wife and mother-in-law.  He played a sold out show at a local theater called Teatro Smeraldo in Milan supporting his latest album Yanez, and he is also gaining a lot of popularity in Italy due to his recent appearance on Sanremo(an Italian televised music festival/competition).  In the end, it was one hell of a show and greatly look forward to seeing them again.  So, onto a little bit of background information on Mr. Van De Sfroos and his music and band. Continue reading

I wouldn’t call myself a religious person.  I don’t want to attach myself to a specific sect and probably, till the day I pass on, I’ll wonder if everything I was taught in school was true(I went to Catholic grade school).  However, I do find myself to be quite a spiritual person, I believe that some higher entity put the Big Bang into motion and that we are all made up of energy/a soul and if we are good people our energy/soul will pass onto something bigger and better(ie. Heaven, reincarnated into something better than we are now, feed the universe and ultimately make it better, ect.), but that’s just me.  I really don’t care for the constitutions of religions, but one thing I do like about religions is most of them say the same things, “Be a good person” and “Each individual is unique” and those are things that I can get behind.

So, why am I talking about religion and spiritual beliefs on my album review/recommendation.  Continue reading