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Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Regardless of whether Primus are indeed progressive are not, since they are here, I will review them. Pork Soda is the studio album that followed their massively successful Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Les Claypool and co. are at their creative best on this one, creating moody, upbeat, and chaotic tones (mostly instrumental) within a cohesive structure. Les Claypool plays intricate and overly catchy beats, while Larry LeLonde provides sprawling guitar and muddy chords, and also while Tim Alexander provides a very solid and very disciplined drum effort.

The opener, Pork Chop's Little Ditty, resembles an Irish jig with stamping feet and fun mandolin, 40 seconds later, the albums first real track is played. My Name is Mud, the first single off of this album, begins with a jumpy bassline. The lyrics are about a Serial Killer whose name is Mud, but wishes to be called Allowishus. LeLonde's guitar on this one is a very muddy (no pun intended) sound that stomps along with Claypool's steady beat. Other tracks worth mentioning are DMV, which features another sprawling Claypool bassline, but lackluster lyrics. Thankfully, the music overpowers the lyrics and makes the song an enjoyable experience. Wounded Knee is among the many instrumentals in the album. What sets this one apart is the fabulous percussion that goes along with Alexander's fabulous drumming. The Pressman begins slowly, with a quiet Claypool bassline. This song has among the best lyrics on the album, and features one of the catchiest riffs they've ever done. Mr. Krinkle is a showcase spot for Claypool and his wonderful double bass work. The song has a very dreary feel thanks to the bass, along with a bizarre guitar line, and some precision drumming, it's among the best tracks of the album. The final track worth mentioning is the longest track on the album, Hamburger Train. This instrumental features a powerful chugging bassline from Claypool, some spot on and intricate drumming from Alexander, and some powerful guitar work from LeLonde.

Overall, I feel that this is a very creative album, regardless of it being progressive or not. Primus are a very unique brand of music, one that cannot be copied thanks to the bombastic and commanding bass lines from Claypool. The only faults to this album are mediocre lyrics, which are meant to be playful and quirky (in the same light as Adrian Belew), but come off as silly and overdone. The vocals are also a tad on the weak side. Claypool is able to put his message across, but is not a particularly strong vocalist. It's veryt fun and adventerous music. 3.5/5.

Report this review (#41982)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is another record that changed the face of rock, we like it or not. When "MY NAME IS MUD" hit the radio no one could believe what the hell they were hearing!!! is that noise?, is that music? is tha a pork? is that common?... So, the record start with a marvellous piece of "old fashioned" banjo work, reminding sweet south-state feeling, going directlly to the super-deep bass of "my name is mud", but if that is not enough, they led you to a crazy bass and vocal work with "welcome to this world", leaving you at shock for the rest of the record, trying to find out what has happened!. Jewels like "mr. krinkle", and "hamburger train" remind you the greatness of a very naive and crazy band trying to make a name in this industry. Try to hear the album in its enteriety at first glance to achieve the real context and complexity of each song without losing a note, and then you might get as disturbed as them. The closing song "hail santa" is for the christmas-bored man, speechless, a masterpiece in its own realm.
Report this review (#42128)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Prog Nada

This is not a Progressive Rock album, but for 1993 it was certainly one that stood out from the pack. Essentially based in the Funk metal explosion led by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and, to a slightly lesser extent, Jane's Addiction, Primus were, at the time of this album, going for broke on the experimental and wackiness scale, but siting the root of the music firmly in the established paths without breaking any new ground, being technically challenged and compositionally almost void of ideas, especially on where to take the music. Formally, there's nothing here that hadn't already been exploited by the Happy Mondays.

Where they had ideas was in how to make the music sound more wacky - it's all about the timbre and rhythm. Timbre-wise, in places, you might be forgiven for thinking you're listening to a funked-up '80s period King Crimson without the technical ability.

"Pork Chop's Little Ditty". Well, little is right. It starts about 10 seconds into the 21-second track, and when it does, it's a badly played mandolin and derivative - a vague attempt to produce something folky sounding without a clear understanding of the type of music they were trying to represent. I guess the point is to set a light hearted and thin sound from which to drop into the funky bass riff of "My Name is Mud".

"My Name is Mud" is entertaining enough, and has a great bass riff and sound, Anthony Keidis style rapping with fun guitars - but nothing Syd Barrett didn't do 2 and a half decades previously on the guitar. Here is one point at which I'm vaguely reminded of something from "Discipline", musically speaking - although there is absolutely no evolution of the music - once you've heard the first 30 seconds or so, you've heard the entire song. The ending goes on a bit.

"Welcome To This World" starts with the guitar and goes into a kind of chicken style before the inevitable heavy and funky riff kicks in. This one is a bit more complex than in "My Name is Mud", and quite cool really - but the frequent starts and stops are annoying, especially since the music again refuses to develop into anything or reveal anything in it's layers. A tall order really, since there are no depths - it's all surface. Nice, shiny and funky surface - very enjoyable with nice little details - but surface nonetheless and ultimately unsatisfying.

"Bob" begins with a nice flanged bass, and I really can't help thinking of Flea here, even though the style is subtly different. It's a bit like the Chili's slowed down and gone a bit wrong. Interesting, but even the wierd and slightly stodgy changes don't prevent this from having a standard rock song structure. There's still too much repetition - not enough melodic and harmonic development - to be progressive. It's just a bunch of guys having fun, and playing within the safety of existing musical forms and coming up with something that sounds a bit different - but not prog.

This album pans out in the same formulaic lines. The next time we hear anything outside of the formula "Funky bass, Funky Drums, Rap, Guitar noise using intro / verse / chorus / verse / chorus / bridge / verse / chorus /outro bog standard structure" is "Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon (Fisherman's Chronicles, Pt. 3)", in which a single bass riff is used, with guitar improv over the top - a psychedelic/garage approach with no development, just a droning repetition at heart. Minimalism for dummies really, and quite poorly executed.

"Nature Boy" is a return to the safe song form of earlier - no change in style whatsoever, as we might expect from prog. I find it "cool" for the first few bars, but the repetition quickly makes the initial impact fade, and it quickly becomes tired and boring until relief around 2:40, with a welcome change back to the psychedelic jam style that rapidly runs out of ideas and flounders around before predictably returning to the opening ideas, albeit slightly jammed.

"Wounded Knee" starts extremely promisingly with tinkly chimes, xylophone and vibraphone ideas giving a flavour of Gong - particularly the latter part of "Angel's Egg", but without the musical development, as we might expect by now.

The title track is clearly an attempt to be very wierd, but once you've got past the sliding bass lines and precision drums, with plinky guitar, it's all repetition and no development. No progression. No hidden depths.

The repetitive intro to "The Pressman" lets us know exactly what we're in for. Another psychedelia/garage style jam track.

"Hamburger Train" at a little over 8 minutes is what I was looking forward to when I began the review - the length alone had prog promise. But it's just a jam around a bass riff that begins enjoyably and quickly becomes very old.

There are no real surprises to come in any of the other tracks. "Pork Chop's Little Ditty" is a longer and even more poorly executed attempt at a folkish-sounding mandolin piece, and the other tracks do not stand out from the other material.

Fans of Primus will probably lap this up - but for prog, look elsewhere.

Report this review (#42219)
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Absolutely hideous and mind numbingly repetitive music. Every bloody song has the same grinchy basslines and drum patterns. The vocals are flat and uninteresting. There is absolutely no effort or emotion but into the music. Artists like Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart can pull off the whole weird avante garde madness really well but, this is meant to be Primus at their most creative and it sounds diabolical.

"Pork Soda" is just a bunch of blokes abusing what talent they may have and their chance to have a record deal by thinking "hey lets make really weird and boring music for the sake of it!". "My Name is Mud" has potential yet it is so predicatable and repetitive that it's a miracle that it was their hit. Most songs on here i had to use the skip button after about 2 minutes in just to hear the exact same drivel on the song to follow it.

This music is not progressive rock and it is not creative or a masterpiece. It is not even good. I wish i could see what people find amazing about it but there is nothing. All you Primus fans should check out "Trout Mask Replica" by Captain Beefheart to see how it is meant to be done. If this is their best release I would hate to hear the worst release. Primus do not belong in progressive rock, full stop.

Report this review (#42255)
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I've been a forum member here for a long time, and I rarely make album reviews, but I had to for this one. In reading reviews about this CD by my fellow prog fans, I'm sad to see how many people think that this is progressive or even good. This album sucks. No doubt, it is creative (to an extent) and certainly not mainstream. Granted too that Les Claypool is hands down the best rock bassist to have appeared in the 90s. Regardless, the guitarist and drummer contribute little to the music, and the Zappa/Captain Beefheart-esque strangeness adds nothing to the music. I'm not criticizing Zappa or Captain Beefheart, but that humorous approach to Primus' style of music does nothing for it. Not to mention, Claypool is an abysmal vocalist. As mentioned before, the songs are incredibly repetitive. Groovy, yes, but nothing about them holds my attention. This is the only CD I ever bought by Primus, and it strongly discouraged me from trying others.
Report this review (#43188)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The issue that appears over and over when discussing Primus in the Archives is whether or not they should be considered progressive. In my opinion, Primus is certainly a prog band, no doubt about it. It so happens that Pork Soda is their least prog album I have ever heard (including Frizzle Fry, Seas of Cheese, Tales from the Punchbowl, Brown Album, and Suck on This). Pork Soda could be my least favourite Primus album behind the disgusting Antipop, but certainly is not worth throwing out the window because it's not as progressively influenced as their earlier (and later) work.

It's also true, that Pork Soda contains a lot of repetition, but not enough in my opinion to discredit the musical innovation and creativity. The album begins with a short mandolin solo before breaking into the galloping "My Name is Mud," which gets dragged out a bit longer than needed, but a worthy track nonetheless. "Welcome to this World" - one of my favourites off the album, "Nature Boy," and "DMV" - one of Primus's finest follow up and set the stage for a solid album. The solid foundation is broken however with weaker tracks such as "The Ol' Diamond-Back Sturgeon" and "Pork Soda," and most momentum is lost at "Wounded Knee" - a fine track, but not something that should be in the middle of a Primus album. Towards the end of the album, it slows down even more. Among the final tracks, only "Mr. Krinkle" stands out at being worth the listen. "Hamburger Train" at first seems very tempting but in reality, is nothing more than a band jam. It reminded me of the fateful "Animals Should Not Try to Act like People" which was purely more jamming than songwriting. So may be the problem with Pork Soda. Still, a careful balance between Claypool's stunning basslines, Tim Alexander's solid drum beats, and LaLonde's dark yet captivating guitar sound keep this album worth atleast the listen. And don't let Pork Soda turn you off from other Primus. Their finest work is in Sailing the Seas of Cheese and Tales from the Punchbowl, the two albums before and after Pork Soda. Primus's best? Hardly. Progressive? Irrelevant. Worth the listen? Certainly.

Report this review (#43191)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'd have to say 3.5 or 4 stars for this baby. Like some other albums I've heard recently (Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth, Raw Power by The Stooges, Confusion is Sex/Kill Yr Idols by Sonic Youth) this album starts out fabulous and very promising but gradually gets weaker, and by the time the album is done you see it as definitely not as good as during the first 10 or 15 minutes. 'My Name Is Mud' being absolutely the highlight of the album, the riff is almost metal and if listening in the dark you'll probably get scared as it thunders on in. All of the next songs are pretty good, 'DMV' being incredible (maybe I'm a bit partial because it was the first Primus song I ever heard). The intro to DMV is Probably the greatest thing I have ever heard done on a bass guitar. Incredible. 'Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon' is where it starts to get weak. Not the greatest track of the bunch. Nature Boy starts out average but about the halfway mark it gets on this funk rock jam which is another highlight of the album. 'Wounded Knee' is very druggie, when it starts up it's definitely a break in the album. Calm and relaxing to an extent, easy going, nice track. The title track is great except for the little jingle Claypool sings. 'The Pressman' and 'Mr. Krinkle' are both pretty good, not weak tracks but not the best. Ah then here comes the total downer of the album. 'The Air Is Getting Slippery' is a COMPLETE novelty song, something I'd consider playing to a toddler. I knew Primus were a bit silly, but when this came on I just thought 'OK, this is beyond the point of being silly, this is downright stupid'. After that you get Hamburger Train which is a good band jam but not great, I was expecting a more progressive piece as it is over 8 minutes but it kind of retains the same atmosphere. Similar, in that sense, to 'Reocurring Dreams' by Husker Du. Entertaining but doesn't go very many places, as opposed to what Pink Floyd and King Crimson could do. After 'Hamburger Train' it's not much. Just ending the album. The album starts out great, VERY powerful and strong, almost sounds like a funked up BLACK SABBATH at some parts. For the vibe of the album, look at the cover. That's it. Dark and mysterious, a bit scary and a tad raunchy but still goofy and silly. Good album. My only Primus album (so far. I just picked this up a few hours ago) but I am definitely going to get Frizzle Fry and Seas of Cheese. Don't believe all the put-downs people are giving, because overall this is a good album and like nothing else the world had ever seen. Primus IS their own genre. Get it.
Report this review (#46982)
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the best albums of the '90. Les is very hard to understand. If you would understand him you wold see that he is better than Syd Barret, Zappa and those Beafhearts. His songs can send a very powerfull message ... he is a style creator and like many style creators he is applauded or heated. Go for it Les - you're the man. I know what I say because I play electric guitar and classical guitar for many years. I'm also a composer and I must say that not many people can compose like Les ... he has many rithmic ideas. His music is centered on the rithm. But still ... you must listen tons of music to see the beauty of his music.
Report this review (#69914)
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The only album I got from this band, bought in 1993 during my alternative rock period. I found funny the mix of rock and comedy in the singles ("My Name Is Mud" and "Mr. Krinkle"), so I had to check the whole album.

After a little banjo intro, "My Name Is Mud" sets the mood for the whole album - bass in front, strange guitar riffs, silly lyrics and comical voice. "Welcome To This World" and "Bob" are even more stressing the comedy part. "DMV" is more rock oriented - great guitar/bass work here. "The Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon" and "Nature Boy" are again nice funny songs. "Wounded Knee" is a great instrumental - simple rhythm section but works well. The title track "Pork Soda" is simply horrible - just a lot of noise with stupid lyrics. "The Pressman" is a mix of soft bass moments and very heavy guitar riffs. "Mr. Krinkle", the other big hit of the album, has this strange bass line that makes the song very catchy. Then arrives "The Air Is Getting Slippery"... this Chaplin- esque song is pure comedy - many will find it stupid but I tend to find it funny, although in the same genre I prefer the work of King Missile. "Hamburger Train" is a long improv, in the vein of King Crimson improvs. The album closes with a second little banjo piece and, infortunately, with the insipid "Hail Santa". After all an enjoyable funny album, but clearly not a masterpiece.

Rating: 77/100

Report this review (#71617)
Posted Saturday, March 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars From the start my name is mud is the highest peak of the album with the other songs being just as standard or a little less.This isnt to say its a bad album,which it is not. Its just it doesnt spring out on you so if you've heard a couple of the tracks its safe to assume the album will continue to sound like that.Generally a great album but other Primus albums "frizzle fry" and "Sail the sea's of cheese" set the bar high.
Report this review (#134878)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Three studio albums into their career, Primus still sound very much like Primus. However, this album is significantly darker than Frizzle Fry and Sailing The Seas Of Cheese from a lyrical standpoint. Songs deal with tales involving a friend's suicide "Bob" and murder "My Name Is Mud". Claypool still manage to squeeze some humorous lyrics into songs like "Pork Soda" and "The Air Is Getting Slippery".

The music on Pork Soda is also heavier than previous albums, but one may argue the inclusion of banjo and mandolin on the album negates this fact. The bass tone on "My Name Is Mud" may be one of the heaviest sounds of any Primus album to date. "Mr. Krinkle" features a great combination of Claypool's bowed upright bass and Lalonde's guitar noises to make a gloomy but memorable song (with an interesting music video). The band also includes the song "The Pressman", which previously showed up on the live Suck On This album.

This album also contains three instrumental tracks (not including the brief "Pork Chop's Little Ditty"). The first, "Wounded Knee", is a well-structured, beautifully melodic percussive piece by drummer Tim Alexander. The second, dubbed "Hamburger Train", is more of a jam track than a song. Very much a rhythm section-led piece, Ler decorates it with some spacey, sometimes Crimson-like guitar noises. Great playing, but "Hamburger Train" goes on a bit too long for me. The last instrumental piece, "Hail Santa", features an odd combination of Les's bass, a bicycle bell, and a talking children's toy. Not much point to this track, but they had to end the album somehow, I suppose.

There is plenty of material on Pork Soda to please Primus fans and progressive music lovers, but this album lacks the consistency of other Primus albums. Pork Soda gets three stars.

Report this review (#216894)
Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow, this album is getting a lot of negative comments...maybe they don't understand Priums.

To be honest, I don't even understand Primus that much, and they don't even understand them that much, but I liked this album.

Maybe this is a Trout Mask Replica, but I really liked this album and have always been a fan of what they achieve.

The album has a very raw sound, with a major bass force. Les Claypool is one amazing and unique bass player. His vocals at times sound a bit hicky, but when he does sing, he does have quite a good voice.

1. Pork Chop's Little Ditty - The intro basically.

2. My Name Is Mud - What a bassline. The drums really give this bassline a pounding force. The lyrics are quite comical and Les' vocals aren't the worst.

3. Welcome To This World - The first time I heard this song was actually in an episode of South Park (the one with the Tooth Fairy scandal). This song does have an amazing bassline (although they all do) The chorus is also really catchy.

4. Bob - I love the almost waltz like feel to the song. Apparently the song is about Les' friend who had a belt, he took a belt and hung himself, in the apartment where he lived...apparently.

5. DMV - A comical piece about a DMV office. There is also some mentioning of beastallity. I also love the chorus.

6. The Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon (Fisherman's Chronicles, Pt. 3) - Jaunty tune about a fish.

7. Nature Boy - A song about a nudist. Funny and very elborate.

8. Wounded Knee - A cool little instrumental.

9. Pork Soda - Gibberish basically.

10. The Pressman - I love the lyrics of this song, very satiracal when looking at the life of an author.

11. Mr Krinkle - A wee bit boring to be honest. The chorus is a wee bit annoying.

12. The Air Is Getting Slippery - Love this song, it's just so innocent, with some harsh euphemisms and Pink Floyd references.

13. Hamburger Train - Way too long to be honest.

14. Pork Chops Little Ditty - A longer version of the intro, basically.

15. Hail Santa - Funny way to end the album...weird noise and jingle bells.

CONCLUSION: As John Lennon once said, "Give Primus a chance."

Report this review (#276692)
Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album doesn't seem to get much love from PA, odd since it's their most adventurous and dare I say "progressive" album. Although Sailing... is my personal fav, this one comes very close. I personally think that the early-mid 90s was just as open to unorthodox music as the early-mid 70s were. Pork Soda went to #7 on the Billboard charts, and anyone familiar with this album will wonder what was wrong with young people in 1993. I assume the reason for it's success has more to do with Primus playing Lollapalooza that year than it did for the videos of "My Name Is Mud" and "Mr. Krinkle".

The music here is typical Primus: a mix of Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Residents and Captain Beefheart...although on this album there is a little bit of(for lack of a better term)"hillbilly" music. Primarily bass-drums-guitar(in that order), there are occasionally other instruments, most notably a bowed upright bass on "Mr. Krinkle". Les Claypool is one of the greatest bassists to walk the earth and I can't remember if he plays a 8- or 12-string bass on this. Having the bass be more important than the guitar seemed like a novelty at the time, but I do remember reading an interview with Claypool around the time of this album, where he said that the Police and ELP also put more emphasis on bass rather than guitar. Larry LaLonde (who began in a death metal band apparently) doesn't play riffs but instead fills space or does the occassional solo. Tim Alexander is a great drummer and the band were never the same after he left years later.

'Prog-Related' doesn't seem fair to this band or this album in particular. Odd time signatures, unorthodox playing and the tendency to keep going long after the singing stops are trademarks of Primus. Les Claypool reminds me greatly of the Residents in the vocal department(although I heard Primus first) and his bass playing sounds like a cross between Geddy Lee, Flea and Hugh Hopper(RIP). "Bob" and "Nature Boy" are actually sort of catchy in a weird way, while "Hamburger Train" shows off the band members' skills. Sure, the music can be repetative but no more repetative than Can or Magma! 3.5 rounded up to 4.

Report this review (#303683)
Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I can listen to Les Claypool hammer away at his bass all day. But this album tires me out. Despite there being fifteen tracks on this album, there is a relative sameness to most of the songs, that wears away at me about halfway through.

Bet there are some good moments. Pork Soda, the song, is hilarious. So is The Air Is Getting Slippery (which has a reference to The Residents, a band that rumors say Les Claypool is a member of - he's not). And Hamburger Train is Primus happily jamming away for a stron eight minutes.

This isn't their best album, but it's got some good stuff.

Report this review (#325660)
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Music from quirky land.

Pork Soda is the third album by Primus following two very good albums. The album came out in one of the greatest periods in rock music, when new bands were emerging like rain drops and older bands were releasing their best material, Primus were no different and were at their most creative period. I bought this after two years of its release after I was mind blown by Frizzle Fry, and I must say I always liked it blindly, but placing it in the right perspective I can say the album is not as good as its two predecessors. Said that, the album does contain some of the band's best and most original songs, it's a mix between great songs and ok songs. The album sounds pretty different than anything before and marks yet another step towards Les Claypool dominating the band's sound. It's not rocky or aggressive as the debut and it's much weirder than Sailing The Seas Of Cheese. The album has a dark mood and a muddy sound, and if the playing is not too weird for you, you got Les Claypool's most wacky and schizoid vocals ever, I really love that guy's singing, he is very diverse and seems to be suffering from a split personality since every song has a different vocal approach. The album continues to introduce us to Claypool's wide cast of imaginary characters like Mud, Bob, Mr. Krinkle, the sturgeon and a lot of other names, which is always funny and cool.

One thing is certain when discussing a Primus album, the playing is fantastic. One of the things that makes this band prog related is the intricate complex and imaginative playing of the trio. Claypool's playing is phenomenal and all over the place, unleashing all kinds of bass techniques which demonstrates just what a great and fertile bass player he really is, just check out 'Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon', 'My Name Is Mud' and 'Mr. Krinkle' to get the picture. Tim Alexander's drumming is a little calmer than before, he is more eclectic but that's because of the material itslef. He is very imaginative and diverse, definitely one of my favorite drummers ever. Guitarist Larry Lalonde has a very muddy sound and he is more quirky and crooked than ever, playing some odd lines and overall he is pretty strange. He doesn't play any rocky riffs, that's just not his style and it fits the music perfectly, a lot of great solos, noises and everything that's in between.

Pork Soda is rated surprisingly low, I loved it from the first spin but maybe it would take a while to get into since it is quite strange. If you're already familiar with Primus this album will not dissapoint you as it contains everything that makes them so appreciated. Amazing performance, original material and their great combination of humoristic tales and goofiness with serious, high standard music.

Is it progressive or not? Some reviewers would say no it's not and some would say yes. The album and the band's style is not progressive per se, they have regular songs aside with more progressive tunes, but almost every album as a whole is very diverse and contains all kinds of interludes. Above all the arrangements are definitely not straight forward and the playing is too good and unique to dismiss. I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point to the band, but it's a very good addition to your Primus collection. 4 stars.

Report this review (#812460)
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Primus has been one of my favorite bands ever since i first heard them as a wee 10 year old kid, back in 1999. Over the years, the band and its frontman/bass virtuoso Les Claypool have experimented with lots of different sounds and styles, some of wich i've enjoyed and others that i have had a harder time appreciating. In my opinion "Frizzle Fry" is their great Hard Rock album, "Sailing The Seas Of Cheese" their great Prog album and "Pork Soda" their great Primus album wich is not necessarily just a good thing.

One thing that always irks me whenever i listen to Pork Soda is that its TOO experimental. Primus main sound is groovy Hard Rock with highly virtuosic bass and drums right? Well the first song we are treated to "My Name Is Mud" is just that. Tim Alexander plays a steady marching beat while Les slaps out a bass line so low and dark that it borders on infrasound. It rules. After that comes "Welcome To This World" and "Bob" wich are boring in my opinion. They suffer from bad guitar work and rather boring bass lines also. Things pick up again in DMV wich is a straight forward rocker about the evils of transport agency bureaucracy (as someone who is currently going through my driving lessons i can only say that i feel your pain, Les) The next two songs are great (special mention goes to the Raga Rock inspired "ol Diamondback Sturgeon".) But then we get to the percussion solo called "Wounded Knee". It basically serves no purpose and screws up the pace of the album for me. Things truck on in about the same manner for the rest of the album until we get to the conclusion, the 8 minute "Hamburger Train". This is one of the least accessible song Primus has ever done, or rather it is a test of endurance. Its straight 4/4 while Les plays a VERY repetetive bass line and Larry Lalonde makes noises that sometimes can be indentified as coming from an electric guitar. In conclusion though, this album gets 4 stars from me. It is without a doubt the least accessible album Primus has ever done but lately i have begun thinking it is great. I am generally against forcing yourself to like an album (there is a big difference between doing that and having it grown on you) but this one really needed hundreds of listens over several years for me to realize how good it really is. If you are new to Primus, then start with "Sailing The Seas Of Cheese" and work your way to this and see if you fall for it too.

Report this review (#951372)
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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