Hallucino-Genetics [DVD] review by Primus

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  • Released: Nov 16, 2004
  • Sound: 10
  • Content: 7
  • Production Quality: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (5 votes)
Primus: Hallucino-Genetics [DVD]

Sound — 10
Primus' sound is, simply put, indescribable. They are so weird that when mp3s were created, tags were forced to have only one of about 120 genres; Primus genre was "Primus" and was the only band to get its very own label. They are that weird. If you haven't heard of them, you're the majority of people in the world. If you have, you're either a bassist or one weird muffin. This DVD was filmed in 2004 on Primus' first tour with the 'returning' lineup of Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde, and Tim Alexander. Les Claypool makes use of 2 of his Carl Thompson basses in this, and shows how he uses his awkward flamenco, slap, and whammying abilities through and through the DVD. It's a love or hate sound, but odds are if you've even heard of them, you'll love their sound. It's the mainstream crowd that has something to worry about.

Content — 7
Absolutely no special features, but only 1 point taken off because there are so few music DVDs that have any special features. It's a live concert DVD taken from a show in Chicago. They did two sets: the first, a mini-best of; the second, a straight up performance of their album, "Frizzle Fry". Frizzle Fry is what I think their second best album, but most fans say it is their best. The best-of, however, is a let down. 01. Sgt. Baker 02. American Life 03. My Friend Fats 04. Jerry Was A Racecar Driver 05. The Last Superpower (aka Rascallion) 06. My Name Is Mud 07. Southbound Pachyderm And Frizzle Fry: 01. To Defy The Laws Of Tradition 02. Groundhog's Day 03. Too Many Puppies 04. Mr. Knowitall 05. Frizzle Fry 06. John The Fisherman 07. You Can't Kill Michael Malloy 08. The Toys Go Winding Down 09. Pudding Time 10. Sathington Willoughby 11. Drum And Whamola Jam 12. Spegetti Western 13. Harold Of The Rocks 14. To Defy The Laws Of Tradition (reprise) 15. The Pressman (encore) In total it's an amazing 2 hour and 35 minute set. It's just that the first set is missing some of the best-non-Frizzly-Fry tracks. No Tommy The Cat, no Fish On (or any of the Fishman Chronicles), no Anti-Pop, it's missing some classics. But, it's still a jam packed set, so I can't complain too much. They do jam often too, making up for some of it. There is a jam in the middle of many songs, and its never out of place and they're always high quality Primus improvisations.

Production Quality — 10
My television sucks at bass. It has no subs, very small speakers, and generally speaking distorts when there is bass. This one DVD, somehow avoids that. It is Les Claypool's wonderous low end, 6 string featuring a low B, and somehow my DVD covers it cleanly. This is the best sound quality I've ever heard on a DVD, and the visuals as always are crystal clear.

Overall Impression — 9
If it were stolen, I'd buy another. They have another DVD, but I don't have it to compare. But even at that, the other DVD (Animals should not try to act like people) has all their music videos, not any live performances. This is the only live video performance Primus has ever released, and it would be the best collection of any sorts Primus has ever released if it had Tommy the Cat on it. If you're looking to get into Primus, is this a good starting point? Probably not. Some of the things Les says to the crowd or sings improvisationally may scare you (Skinny sold his hello dolly record to a truck driver, being a notable improvised lyric. If anyone can understand this, tell me. Because I don't. Fits the music perfectly, adds to the song {somehow}, and is great. But makes sense? Sane? No). If you want to see what a Primus show is like but don't live in the west coast of the United States and thereby get the shaft on most Primus tours, buy THIS. It's hard to think of it as a disappointment.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought this yesterday so I haven't seen all of it. I thought there were multiple bass tracks in all of their songs but Les Claypool really is playing all the stuff at once. It's really cool to get to see him use all his cool techniques and see how he gets all his weird sounds. The show was really good, they sound just like they do on their album unlike most bands today, and it was complete with on the spot improvisations and drum solos. A great DVD for anybody who likes Primus.
    thsi is an example of a band where ever memeber is a truly an AMAZING Musician.. Les Claypool we all know how godly he is on bass and while singing, Tim is an amazing drummer who dances around les's riffs like its nothing and LEr is just an amzaing guitarist'
    The part with skinny selling his record to a truck driver is from a residents song called "Hello Skinny"