Sound — 9
This is the first Primus album I was introduced to, and my god! The Music completely blew me away, all the members of primus clearly new their instruments incredibly well, in fact at the time the only drawback to Primus' overall sound was Les Claypool's vocal, yet this was only because it wasn't the conventional style of singing I was used to at the time.
Lyrics — 8
01. Intro - this little snippet of sound has a weird eerie circus type sound that is again repeated in the final song "The Heckler" as an intro. At the end of this track Claypool counts towards the explosive start of. 02. Electric Uncle Sam - is a strong song in this album but is in no way the strongest, it's starts off explosive and then slows down for the vocals to come in before exploding again for the chorus. This song has some pretty good lyrics in it they seem to suggest that the government is watching "I'm here I'm there I'm everywhere, I am your Uncle Sam" This is a brilliant way to open an album energy wise and is very well constructed. 03. Natural Joe - is yet another strong song on the album with a cool heavy bass line and droning guitar. The Lyrics seem to tell a sort of story about a guy named Joe who seems to be a good guy who isn't exactly as he seems, as suggested by the lyrics But late at night he sneaks on down to the porno store for a little bit of (cat mews suggesting pussy) a strong song that makes you think about how well you really know people. This is a strong song but it doesn't seem to be up to par with the rest of the album. 04. Laquerhead - is easily the strongest on the album, it has an amazingly fitting muted slap and pop intro which gives a song a heavy feel (without making it to serious) which leads in perfectly with the chorus which has a substantially heavier feel to it. The interlude is very weird which conveys the meaning of the song perfectly with the strange sounds Larry and les create with their instruments. The subject of this song is very anti drug. "The vapor made a sweet aroma sniffed himself into a coma" it sites many of the bad effects of drug taking. This video was aired on MTV but later banned for it's use of heavy drug references despite it being anti drugs. This song has a brilliant sound to it shows a very strong anti drugs message. 05. The Antipop - my second favorite song on this album and the title track. The intro seems to be a very tongue in cheek look at metal bands with the sounds of rain and church bells chiming. This song is very up and down with the energy it shows the parts were les isn't singing are very high energy yet when he is singing it goes a lot slower. This song is laden heavily with metaphors about Claypool's dislike for conventional pop bands "I lay back and scan the radio all that comes out of my speakers is a steady syrup flow." This shows Claypool's disdain by implying that pop music is all sweet and happy when songs should be dealing with problems and trying to make people think. This song ends again in a tongue in cheek look at a metal sound with someone saying "this concludes the recording of the crypt, the holy basilica of the." This song is in my opinion a very good song because of the message it conveys. 06. Eclectic Electric - is a very good song but when I first listened to it I skipped past it as it was very different to the sound of the previous tracks. However overall this song is very, as the title suggests eclectic, as the sound and tempo changes frequently. This song is in a way similar to Tommy the cat and the fisherman chronicles as it is also telling a story to the listener. This song is telling a story about life through it's three parts, part one, blinded by the sun is the first part, it's about when you're a kid and everything is much simpler as you are not far from help and things are done for you. The second part, sanity is coming to town, is opened by a very heavy slap bass solo/interlude which sounds quite angry. I think this part is about the second stage of your life, the teenage years where you make a lot of important life decisions and also where you are criticized by your peers and loved ones a lot which is where the angry feel to this part comes in. Part three, Pressing Onward towards the Light, is about adulthood where you keep pushing through all the problems you have in life to find true happiness. "Pressing onward through the night, pressing onward towards the light." Because this song is so varied it's rated one of the top 4 on the album in my books. 07. Greet The Sacred Cow - is very energetic and seems to have some sort of meaning but I have no idea what. The first verse seems to be about cancer "if I'm zapped with the radiation they say I'll last another year". The second verse makes absolutely no sense to me at all. But nevertheless this is a thumping good song, despite me not knowing the meaning. 08. Mama Didn't Raise No Fool - this song is a very good song which is a lot more guitar heavy than the previous songs. I think this song is about not following the social trends as it will make you unhappy "Prozac buttered toast" and instead being yourself. A very strong song but not as bass heavy as I would have liked from primus, it however shows their ability to change their sound freely. 09. Dirty Drowning Man - this song is going back to Claypool's bass being in the foreground more. I think this song is a plea for his actual friends instead of the posers who claim to be his friend. This could have been inspired by one of Claypool's "friends" betraying him. A very good song which yet again invites you to think. 10. Ballad Of Bodacious - is one of the weaker songs on the album, it just seems a lot shallower than all the previous songs on the album as it conveys no real message like the other songs, it just tells the story of a bucking bull and a rider who nearly died riding said bull. Not a bad song but in comparison to most of the other songs it's lack of meaning is disappointing. 11. Power Mad - this song at first seemed to be another song without much meaning as it starts off with a raspy voiced man talking about how he enjoys wearing panties. All this is shattered when Claypool starts playing his bass with one of my favorite bass riffs. The lyrics are very strong it talks about peoples abuses of power, one of these is possibly a reference to Clinton "power mad, I didn't drop my pants down dad" over all a brilliant song with a good meaning. 12. The Final Voyage Of The Liquid Sky - is the sort of song I think I don't like very much until I'm listening to it; Claypool is very reliant on effects with his bass playing. The song seems to have many meanings to it, changing with every section of singing. Definitely not a favorite but nonetheless not a bad song. 13. Coattails Of A Dead Man - I believe this is one of the weakest songs on this album. It just doesn't captivate my interest as the other songs on this album do. There seems to be no energy to it. However I can commend it on having a meaning. It seems to be about Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love and how she apparently used Cobain, after his death, to gain popularity with her band. This I however find is slightly unfair, understanding this may not be the meaning, because someone shouldn't be punished for carrying on after a great tragedy. 14. The Heckler - is hidden at the very end of Coattails of a Dead Man after a brief silent pause. This song is as the title suggests about hecklers, people who just ridicule and badmouth things. I think the first verse is about the heckler who "slithers" in to a gig and "plants itself amongst the rest to give it's deadly sting" meaning getting everyone to badmouth the performance. The second verse is about the performer who has worked really hard only to have it spoiled by the heckler. "The perfect show is put before the mass. Only to be ridiculed by some slimy, pompous... The song is also interspersed with Claypool saying "it's a matter of opinion I believe this was done to prevent Claypool from contradicting himself by saying what he is saying is merely opinion. A strong song which makes Coattails bearable to listen to however it annoyed me because it is among the best on the album but wasn't given a track of its own.
Overall Impression — 10
This is overall a very good album which unfortunately, like most albums has some rough spots. This however was possibly the best album I could have been introduced to primus with as it has a more conventional sound to other albums and eased me in to the wonderful weirdness. I would recommend it to anyone who is open minded about their music and don't mind bands breaking the mould i.e. bass as the main instrument. Though this album isn't their best it was a perfect way to start loving primus and will always hold a special place in my CD rack.