Tales From The Punchbowl review by Primus

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  • Released: May 23, 1995
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (15 votes)
Primus: Tales From The Punchbowl

Sound — 9
As with most Primus albums they've used slightly different gear and production values to get a more varied sounds from album to album. They've already established their use of the rhythm section (Les Claypool and Tim Alexander) as the lead whilst guitarist Larry LaLonde rips out Zappa-esque solos and licks whenevers needed but not a lot which shows he's very patient. However on this particular album he plays much more than he does on others. There is no clear genre, Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver is noisy country music for phychos, whilst Southbound Pachyderm is a spacey Floyd-esque track with amazing melodies. Of course, Primus being Primus they use more. Les' basslines are superb however this is possibly the only Primus album where he is outdone as Alexanders drums are the best he's done yet except for maybe Eleven from STSOC (which is an even better album than this). Les still has his cartoon voice however it does seem slightly less zany and shouty which is quite a shame, but the mans a genius and it does still work. They do seem less energetic on this album as a whole, despite songs like Beaver and Del Davis Tree Farm but this just makes it a good album to chill out to instead of something to go completely nuts to like Seas of Cheese. There are 2 stupid songs however, Captain Shiner and Space Farm which are just weird noises. Annoying to most, but to a Primus fan in the right frame of mind(wink wink, puff puff) they can come of as a fun listen.

Lyrics — 9
I'll say some songs then lyrical content, then how good the concept is. Just a few for a basic idea. Professor Nutbutter's House Of Treats - seems to be about a man who gives sweets to kids. Might just me but it seems like a ballad of peodophilia. Southbound Pachyderm - Floyd had a flying pig on an album cover so Primus have a song about a flying elephant. Weird lyrics, seem very drug induced. Del Davis Tree Farm - about the 'tree farm' where Les goes every year to get his annual Christmas tree. Wacky lyrics fit perfectly with his wacky voice.

Overall Impression — 9
Not Primus' best but certainly up there. Most impressive songs probably would be "Over The Electric Grapevine," "Southbound Pachyderm" and "Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver." Best bassline is Pachyderm, best drums are Year Of The Parrot, best guitar, I'm not sure, but Beaver does have a pretty cool solo and good use of effects. The sound quality on other Primus albums tends to be better but its definately satisfactory and goes well with the overall feel of the songs. If it were stolen I'd definately end up having another copy in my hands, an overall awesome album.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Good album, but why isn't Suck on This , Frizzle Fry and Pork Soda reviewed. Those are one of the other albums with the original line-up.