Primus: Green Naugahyde

primus, green naugahyde, les claypoolPrimus: Green Naugahyde
Primus’ combination of kooky lyrics sung by a subpar vocalist over complex funk bass lines and often dissonant guitar lines made for some of the most unlikely hits of the 90s. In a decade where largely anything could be a hit, Primus really seemed like a stretch. Now that the 90s are over a decade in the rearview mirror and Primus is over a decade removed from a new album, the release of Green Naugahyde seems like a real shot in the dark. Is 2011 the perfect time for Primus’ grand return or is this the new album nobody asked for?
The fact is today’s youth only knows Primus as the band that sings the South Park theme song and while Les Claypool and company have toured in recent years, they need a new album unless they want to keep drawing the ever dwindling 90s nostalgic crowd.
Green Naugahyde really delivers Primus’ message in the most bizarre way possible (not that Primus knows how to deliver a message any differently). “Last Salmon Man (Fisherman’s Chronicles, Part IV)” sounds like an extend Parry Gripp outtake befitting an internet meme. “Eternal Consumption Engine” starts as ska and devolves into a maniacal country song. “Tragedy’s A’Comin'” is reminiscent of Uplift Mofo Party Plan-era Red Hot Chili Peppers with its strong funk influence and Parliament-Funkadelic chorus.
So through all these different styles, the listener has to wonder “what is the point?” Is Primus trying to prove that Les Claypool is a kooky guy that can’t sing but can sure play a bass guitar? Maybe. Instead of delivering an album, Primus delivered a collection of songs with Green Naugahyde. Although the collection does show the group in a fairly favorable light, the light will shine brightest for those already attuned to Primus and perhaps not shine at all for those who have no previous knowledge of Claypool and company.
Rating: 6.7/10
MP3: Primus “Tragedy’s A’Comin'”
Buy: iTunes

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