Green Naugahyde review by Primus

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  • Released: Sep 12, 2011
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (24 votes)
Primus: Green Naugahyde
3

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.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    fifopher
    reversegenesis wrote: katalyzt13 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: MadMudgeN wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: 'Jillys on smack' has Les use an electric double bass to make the wierd swooping sound. Very fun album, and as always, verr verr silly... Wrong; saw this live @ red rocks this summer and he uses his standup bass with a bow... Well thats what I meant, but wasn't sure what to call it. Epi, I think you are right - a double bass is like a cello that is tuned in a bass register and you use a bow. If you don't use a bow, then you call it a stand up bass. It was just a matter of context, but if he is using a bow with it, then it is a double bass. They all mean the same thing, an upright bass, double bass, string bass, standup bass and a contrabass are all the exact same instrument. How you play it has no relevance to what it's called.
    I like cheese.
    EpiExplorer
    MadMudgeN wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: 'Jillys on smack' has Les use an electric double bass to make the wierd swooping sound. Very fun album, and as always, verr verr silly... Wrong; saw this live @ red rocks this summer and he uses his standup bass with a bow...
    Well thats what I meant, but wasn't sure what to call it.
    slaveskinJACKET
    Great musicianship all over the whole album, the least so in the guitar area. But I found myself becoming disinterested in most of the songs on this one. However, the one that stood out to me was Lee Van Cleef. It has the most interesting concept, as well as being the best sounding song on the album, in my opinion. It probably doesn't help that I have a fondness for Westerns, Spaghetti or otherwise. I wasn't disappointed with this album, but it's not particularly special to me, either. Most of it probably fits in better alongside Les Claypool's solo stuff more than it fits in with Primus, too.
    36mikeyb36
    The drumming was really original and honestly I was blown away by this album. Can't wait for the tour. Bring on the Jilly's hehehe
    katalyzt13
    EpiExplorer wrote: MadMudgeN wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: 'Jillys on smack' has Les use an electric double bass to make the wierd swooping sound. Very fun album, and as always, verr verr silly... Wrong; saw this live @ red rocks this summer and he uses his standup bass with a bow... Well thats what I meant, but wasn't sure what to call it.
    Epi, I think you are right - a double bass is like a cello that is tuned in a bass register and you use a bow. If you don't use a bow, then you call it a stand up bass. It was just a matter of context, but if he is using a bow with it, then it is a double bass.
    Lowie18
    Just listened to it for the first time. I love it!! Just makes you think 'WTF?' throughout the whole thing... In a good way that is.
    FatEmoChick
    Definatly my favorite album of 2011! Glad this wasn't as disappointing as the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "I'm With You"... I really dig Primus' new sound, although I find it a shame the lyrics are even more so inaudible than they were on their previous albums... AWESOME ALBUM, FIND IT NOW
    etceteranough
    I love Ler's guitar riff in Jilly's on Smack, that and Eye of the squirrel are my favorite's too. Solid album all the way through, some songs took a couple listens but then I grew to really like them.
    EpiExplorer
    'Jillys on smack' has Les use an electric double bass to make the wierd swooping sound. Very fun album, and as always, verr verr silly...
    uprawrock
    CorvetteRick wrote: Is "mad" back in vogue? shit, I guess I'll have to re-read On The Road before I get this album.
    This.
    reversegenesis
    katalyzt13 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: MadMudgeN wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: 'Jillys on smack' has Les use an electric double bass to make the wierd swooping sound. Very fun album, and as always, verr verr silly... Wrong; saw this live @ red rocks this summer and he uses his standup bass with a bow... Well thats what I meant, but wasn't sure what to call it. Epi, I think you are right - a double bass is like a cello that is tuned in a bass register and you use a bow. If you don't use a bow, then you call it a stand up bass. It was just a matter of context, but if he is using a bow with it, then it is a double bass.
    They all mean the same thing, an upright bass, double bass, string bass, standup bass and a contrabass are all the exact same instrument. How you play it has no relevance to what it's called.
    CorvetteRick
    Is "mad" back in vogue? shit, I guess I'll have to re-read On The Road before I get this album.
    MadMudgeN
    EpiExplorer wrote: 'Jillys on smack' has Les use an electric double bass to make the wierd swooping sound. Very fun album, and as always, verr verr silly...
    Wrong; saw this live @ red rocks this summer and he uses his standup bass with a bow...
    Gustavo777
    I think this sounds a lot like Les's solo stuff. I like those things but I want Primus to not sound like that.
    LeakyFlask
    I've never been able to really get in to Primus. I just don't think they have good enough (lyrical) ideas to match the extravagant musical style. To me, their bark is definitely worse than their bite. Maybe I should give them another try when I feel more silly.
    fifopher
    LeakyFlask wrote: I've never been able to really get in to Primus. I just don't think they have good enough (lyrical) ideas to match the extravagant musical style. To me, their bark is definitely worse than their bite. Maybe I should give them another try when I feel more silly.
    Good talk.