Sound — 9
Finally, we get a new Primus album. Les Claypool's funky slap bass once again is blasting out of my stereo speakers! Jay Lane (absent since 1988) returned in 2010 as drummer, replacing Tim Herb Alexander and Jay does an excellent job filling the role. Larry Ler LaLonde is on guitar providing weird quirky guitar lines that complement Les's insane bass lines. This is Primus's seventh studio release and their first since their hiatus in 2000. While Les Claypool has toured sporadically since 2003, it is great to have a new studio album and the band back as a cohesive unit.
Green Nuagahyde' isn't a disappointment after Primus's absence, but instead a promise of more excellent funky weird music to come. The music really ranges from funky/weird to ambient/experimental. Ler provides some truly weird minimalist guitar lines that allow Les's unique bass lines to shine through the mix to great effect. Considering this lineup of Primus has not been together very long they have really got their playing down very tight and I would love to go see them live, and hopefully they'll be playing nearby soon.
Lyrics — 8
Les's vocal delivery fits in like a jigsaw puzzle piece completing a picture. I personally love vocalists with a lot of character in their voice and Les has this in spades. Not surprisingly, my favorite vocalists are Les Claypool, Dave Mustaine, Lemmy and Isaac Brock. Les did a great job on Green Nuagahyde' using his voice as an extension of his music instead of something just layered over it. At times his voice is sarcastic, anxious, playful and serious. The lyrics mostly tell stories that are freakishly weird or are borderline nonsensical. The song Hoinfodaman' is maybe my favorite lyrics, but mainly just the chorus chant of I used to be a pimp, now I'm hoing for da man'.
The role of a lyric in a song is either to complement the music or to express ideas as a theme to the song, and Les manages to do both well. Now, the actual ideas he is expressing as themes may not be the types of ideas normally expressed in music, but that is a big part of what makes Primus so awesome. Les's drawled lyrics are what give his music its distinctive flavor just as much as his aggressive and odd approach to the bass as the main melodic instrument in a rock band.
Overall Impression — 9
Green Nuagahyde' makes me interested in playing bass guitar. Jilly's on Smack' might be my favorite song on the album with almost schizophrenic music backing lyrics delivered in a way dripping with anxiety. My second favorite would have to be Eye of the Squirrel'. I really didn't encounter any songs I disliked on Green Nuagahyde' and after I finish this review I will be making room to give this album a semi-permanent place on my mp3 player. I feel like the best tell of a good album/song/artist is if it/they inspires you to pick up an instrument and play and Les Claypool absolutely makes me want to pick up the bass after listening to Green Nuagahyde'. Really the guitar work and drums are really inspiring as well, in large part due to their quirkiness and originality. Sorry, I know I've used the word quirky a lot during this review but I can't find a better word.