Sound: Oysterhead was a temporary side project in 2001 made up of Les Claypool of Primus, Trey Anistasio of Phish, and Stuart Copeland of The Police. Their sound combined all their abilities well into tunes that spanned acoustic playing, psychadelic/heavy rock, and jam band rock similar to Phish. Les played several complex bass lines with creative slapping parts and some interesting bass effects, like wah. Trey played some brilliant bluesy licks and had a superb tone. Stuart played jazz based rhythms with interesting accents and many different sounds coming from his oversized drumkit. I thought it was a really good side project with some interesting collaboration going on. // 9
Lyrics: The singing varied from song to song between Trey and Les or both of them, with Les singing more of the songs. This gave a nice variety, sicne their vocal styles very significantly, but they put together some nice vocal harmony. The lyrics ranged from inspiring to totally off the wall to downright goofy. Points of interest would be:
01.Trey's soft tenor on Radon Balloon was nice to hear with the flowing acoustic part.
02.Little Faces: which had a bouncy Verse sung by Trey and a chorus that both performed. I thought that the music and the rhythm of the vocals went together well.
03.Oz Is Ever Floating: has a good vocal pattern over a funky instrumental part that the three play. it's interesting, despite the weird lyrics. // 8
Overall Impression: This was a interesting album, probably better in some respects than some of their regular band's material. Here is my impression of the tracks:
01.Little Faces: mixes eerie sounding music with a verse that has bouncing notes and nice lyrics.
02.Oz is Ever Floating: the instruments were very funky in this one but they keep on singing about a 'Dr. John C. Lilly'. Not sure of the lyrics, but the song sounds cool.
03.Mr. Oysterhead: i first heard this song on an alternaive station and thought it was cool. Les played with a bass phaser, then modifies his soudn to a slapping thumping riff with guitar playing a good rhythm.
04.Shadow Of A Man: a song about a broken man who served in the Vietnam war, giving the lyrics a somber feel. The bass plays melody again with a heavy slapback echo, which sounds cool!
05.Radon Balloon: a cool acoustic piece that Trey wrote.
06.Army's On Ecstasy: this song's lyrics sound pretty looney but put forward an interesting take on the spoils of war. The slap bass is excellent yet again.
07.Rubberneck Lions: has a good vocal melody, despite some silly lyrics.
08.Polka Dot Rose: has a nice swinging beat to the bass and guitar and interesting lyrics.
09.Birthday Boys: another acoustic number with a fast folk beat. The vocal harmonies were pretty good.
10.Wield The Spade: this number sounds odd due to the inconsistent drum part that comes in and out with a continuous bass/Guitar part. This makes it hard to keep a beat while trying to play it.
11.Pseudo Suicide: the lyrics were the weakest of the album. Les rambled on and on with his silly rhymes that he does in many Primus songs, but it is just not that great in this song.
12.The Grand Pecking Order: the title track almost has a marching band sound, but the demented sound of Les's lyrics make it seem mysterious.
13.Owner Of The World: this song had a good melody but the lyrics were lacking.
Overall the music was much better than the lyrics but there were several bright spots. I'd reccommend looking up their mp3's on Itunes before checking out the album, since their sound is definitely not mainstream. // 8