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SAILING THE SEAS OF CHEESE

Primus

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Primus Sailing the Seas of Cheese album cover
3.97 | 117 ratings | 22 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Seas of Cheese (0:42)
2. Here Come the Bastards (2:53)
3. Sgt. Baker (4:13)
4. American Life (4:31)
5. Jerry Was a Race Car Driver (3:11)
6. Eleven (4:18)
7. Is It Luck? (3:27)
8. Grandad's Little Ditty (0:37)
9. Tommy the Cat (4:14)
10. Sathington Waltz (1:42)
11. Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers (5:18)
12. Fish On (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter II) (7:42)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Tim "Herb" Alexander / drums, vocals
Mike Bordin / drums
Les Claypool / bass, clarinet, guitar, vocals, fretless bass
Adam Gates / bass, vocals
Derek Greenberg / guitar
Todd Huth / guitar
Larry LaLonde / banjo, guitar
Brian "Brain" Mantia / drums
Tom Waits / vocals
Matthew Winegar / guitar, accordion

Releases information

1991 Interscope CD

CD includes a track 13. Los Bastardos (2:40)

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
and to durnshot for the last updates
Edit this entry

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Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi EnsemblePrimus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble
ATO Records 2014
Audio CD$13.98
Sailing the Seas of CheeseSailing the Seas of Cheese
Interscope Records 1991
Audio CD$1.83
$0.01 (used)
Pork SodaPork Soda
Interscope Records 1993
Audio CD$1.82
$0.40 (used)
Frizzle FryFrizzle Fry
Remastered · Extra tracks
Prawn Song 2002
Audio CD$7.15
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Interscope Records 1995
Audio CD$1.77
$0.01 (used)
They Can't All Be Zingers: Best ofThey Can't All Be Zingers: Best of
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Audio CD$3.57
$2.52 (used)
Brown AlbumBrown Album
Interscope Records 1997
Audio CD$1.77
$0.01 (used)
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Interscope Records 1999
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$1.61 (used)
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ATO RECORDS / RED 2011
Audio CD$8.24
$4.34 (used)
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Interscope Records 1998
Audio CD$5.43
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PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese ratings distribution


3.97
(117 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Some of the best bass guitar playing ever recorded is contained on this album. Overall, this album is probably "more progressive" than the previous effort Frizzle Fry. Once again, the musicianship of each member is featured prominently, from Alexander's punchy drums, LaLonde's aharmonic guitar, and of course Les Claypool's simply amazing bass riffing. Heavy bass-and-drums in the vein of RUSH, experimental melodies and harmonies in the vein of KING CRIMSON, and every bit as absurd as the RESIDENTS, and ZAPPA. "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" and "Tommy the Cat" are based on some of the most intense bass work ever conceived. Les uses all 6 strings of his bass to make some pretty wild sounds in a completely original way. These experimental rants are complemented by a few more straightforward driving songs like "Sgt Baker" and "Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers". Each song on the record is a gem in its own way. Approach with a cautious ear, and leave some time for it to sink in. It is to be appreciated for originality, musicianship, and for the cartoonish persona that is Les Claypool. But, hey, if you decide its not for you, it's not for you.

If you own just one Primus album, make it this one.

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Send comments to GoldenSpiral (BETA) | Report this review (#42014) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 08, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As their sophomore studio effort, Primus pulled out all the stops. Les Claypool demands attention with his commanding bass playing and wit as a lyricist.Larry LeLonde plays magnificent searing leads and meaty chords (Claypool as well). Tim Alexander holds the band together with precision and overly intricate drumming. The creative forces combined once again in 1991 and created their breakthrough album, Sailing the Seas of Cheese.

Tracks on the album that are worth mentioning are the opener Here Comes the Bastards, which features an overly simplistic yet catchy riff (in 5/4 if I'm not mistaken). Although the lyrics are not the strong point of the band, they have a sense of quirkiness and wit in them. Sgt. Baker brings up memories of Full Metal Jacket lyrically, Claypool demanding whether you're a "Steer or a qu**r". A steady marching beat and some of the best Claypool vocals are featured in this track. American Life is Claypool's attempt at storytelling in his writing, and it comes off well. With a sprawling bassline, and some great slide work from LeLonde, the song carries on at a pace of its own. Jerry Was a Racecar driver is a track where Claypool dabbles with tapping on a six-string fretless bass. The bassline here is over the top and overly intricat at that. With a great solo by LeLonde, and some powerful bass chugging by Claypool, it really sounds like a car is reving up. Tommy the Cat feautres what is arguably the most difficult Claypool bass performance, with a steady and catchy slap to it. Alexander keeps the entire thing together during the verses, and LeLonde takes control during the instrumental breaks.

OVerall, this is an enjoyable album that is as creative as it is adventurous. There is only one problem in my opinion, the filler tracks that are in between the meatier ones. Regardless, an enjoyable experience. 4.5/5

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#42033) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 08, 2005

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars What Primus is doing on the ProgArchives is a bit of a wonder, because however talented was Primus during their first few albums, they had nothing to do with prog. Don't get me wrong here Primus's members are all excellent musicians and the music is certainly not an easy one to play. I believe they rival in virtuosity/dexterity with their obvious mentors The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. They develop a funky hard rock (I would almost say metallic on the energy front) with the same punkish revolt the RHCP did, but also Faith No More and many more Grunge groups that the era provided. The late 80's/early 90's were fertile ground for such talented groups, and personally I like better Primus or RHCP much more than I do the "progressive" groups still active at the time. I mean the era was so poor for progressive music, that I had totally given up and I was exploring 60's jazz and 70's jazz-rock at the time, and when I paid attention to the radio, I was actually quite interested in such group that had the RnR spirit, but with the dexterity to go along with it. Although this album is not quite up to the level of RHCP's Sex Blood Sugar Magick, it is a gem is its type of records, but hardly any progressive. In another site, I probably would have given this album a fourth star, but on the Archives, I can only give it three and that in all honesty, is quite a complement. The next album with its atrocious cover, Pork Soda is of the same vein but not quite as brilliant.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#63358) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 06, 2006

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I got introduced to Primus with the song "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver" in 1999 while playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1. The song was featured in the soundtrack and I loved it! I was about to buy this album a couple of years back because of that song, but I bought King Crimson's "Lark's Tongues In Aspic" instead. However, I picked this one up earlier this year, and I must say It's excellent.

Primus are a very talented band. Les Claypool's bass riff's and playing still amazes me, and his weird voice fits Primus' music well. Larry LaLonde's guitar work is great and Tim Alexander's drumming is brilliant. They may sound a bit repetitive sometimes, and that's why I give this one 4 instead of 4.5/5 stars.

Many great songs on this one: Here Come The Bastards, Jerry Was a Racecar Driver, Eleven, Tommy The Cat, Fish On are my favorites. The other ones are very good too, though some of them could have been a bit better.

Overall, excellent release! Could have been a bit better, but I still recommend it!

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Posted Friday, June 23, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars What do you get when you combine the technical prowess of Rush, the funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the loose jamming of the Grateful Dead or Phish, and the mad lyrics of Frank Zappa. You get none other than one of the most important musicians of the last two decades, Mr. Les Claypool. Primus sits it the prog-related genre, but they should really be in prog metal. Sailing the Seas of Cheese is Primus' second album, and Claypool envisioned it as an album in the prog sense, to be listened all the way through. Not to say the album is without strong individual songs. "Tommy the Cat" is a tour-de-force of rhythm instruments, with Claypool pummeling his bass and the very progressive Berklee grad Tim Alexander laying down a fantastic beat. Tom Waits guest stars as Tommy. "Sgt. Baker" sounds like the first 40 minutes of Full Metal Jacket condensed to a song. "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver" is the hilarious ode to an amateur racer who ends his career when he drunkenly plows his car into a pole. "Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers" has an eerie electronic effect similar to those used by Faith No More on their Angel Dust album.

My advice: though it's tempting to listen to Jerry and Tommy the Cat, listen to the album as a whole and revel in this mad masterpiece.

Grade: B

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#100349) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 25, 2006

Review by Sagichim
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars sailing ... is one of the best in primus collection , i would not call this prog in 100% BUT it is very proffesional , it is prog to me because it is interesting all the way. the musicianship is absolutely amazing!! you should check out "tommy the cat" definetly one of the best bands i know, and i hope they will honur us with another album! if you liked this one don't stop you will like the rest for sure! i would like to give it a 5 star rating but to be totaly fair to other albums i would have to give this 4 stars, but they are very big stars!

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Send comments to Sagichim (BETA) | Report this review (#100934) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Review by JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My introduction to Primus, and it is my favorite album by them. I love this album, and the best thing about it: Les Claypool. Without doubt, he is one of the best bass players I have ever heard. Besides his stringy, psychadellic like bass playing, he throws out some unusual vocals, but they are entirely tolerable.

Another great aspect of this CD is every member is that each member is talented, and you they all contribute to the sound, yet you can distinctly hear each one. Larry LaLonde has some great guitar work, and puts some out almost thrash metal solos. However, the guitar is not the focal of this band. It is merely background to Claypool's bass, and of course puts out some nice solos. Tim Alexander does not do anything overally impressive, but he keeps everything smooth, and shows some serious talent.

Jerry the Race Car Driver is my favorite song from the album. It is funny, catchy song and, I think, displays each members skill the best. Also, it features my favorite guitar solo on the CD. Tommy the Cat is another great one. Very weird vocals, but amazing bass playing and there are some pretty good solos, (and Claypool puts a nice background to it). Is it Luck, Here Come the Bastards, American Life, and Sgt. Baker are other standouts. However, while none of the other songs dissapoint, they don't do much for me either.

Overall, a great album, and if you like music that'll give you a laugh sometimes this is it. I would recommend it for anyone who likes serious bass playing, weird music, and even some metal fans. If you can get past the odd vocals, I think this a CD you will love.

4 stars

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Send comments to JJLehto (BETA) | Report this review (#118418) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007

Review by FruMp
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars PRIMUS are one of those hard bands to catagorise, one of those acts that against all odds manages to create music so unique and distinct as to defy proper classification and here we see this band at their creative peak.

For those who don't know PRIMUS is fronted by eccentric vocalist and bass guitarist Les Claypool - a renowned and undeniably talented bassist who fuses the influences of rock funk and occasionally metal into his creations as is well evidenced here, think of a combination between RUSH, FUNKADELIC and FAITH NO MORE. Not to detract from the other band members here as while the bass is often the focus of the music they contribute enormously. Guitarist Larry 'Ler' LaLonde is no slouch LaLonde played with Claypool in an early thrash band 'BLIND ILLUSION', and was a key member in thrash/death metal band POSSESSED (widely regarded as the first death metal band ever) as well as studying under guitar guru Joe Satriani - LaLonde is just as innovative as Claypool with his subtle dissonant, minimalist guitar, it fits in perfectly with Claypool's bass up front and always contributes something interesting. Tim 'Herb' Alexander contributes a lot of my favourite moments on this album with his tight technical well considered drumming.

Sailing the seas of cheese features some of the highlights of PRIMUS' catalog, my particular favourite is Sgt. Baker featuring PRIMUS trademark tight and angular riffage, the song contains some great stop start rhythms and a surprisingly heavy breakdown section which is in my opinion the greatest moment of the album with Alexander on fire with some great double kick triplets and syncopation. 'Jerry was a race car driver' is perhaps PRIMUS' most well known song and received substantial airplay in the 90's and amazingly for a single it's surprisingly good, it has some nice grooves and some tantalizing heavy parts and is a superbly written song. Another top moment is the song 'is it luck' Claypool's bass work is fast and frenetic and amazingly technical, very pacy and aggressive for PRIMUS.

Overall the picture that is painted on this album is slightly reminiscent of that 'weird' uncle you have, strangely lyrical, telling strange stories, a fine sense of humour and just genuinely odd. While it's definately not for everyone, some may be put off by the unconventional approach especially to instrumentation and Claypool's vocals take a bit of getting used to. Highly Recommended to fans of odd, funky, 90's music such as FAITH NO MORE and MR BUNGLE.

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Send comments to FruMp (BETA) | Report this review (#140944) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is soooooo American 90's...

PRIMUS is one of those bands able both to amuse me and annoy me at the same time. Let's start with the things that annoy me: the vocals. The vocal delivery, the overall attitude and the southern accent. Those annoying recited verses, ugh. There's a hint or two of THE RESIDENTS in both vocals and melodies, but the RESIDENTS' vocals are not annoying to me for some reason.

As far as the music goes, this is (more or less) furious funky rock wrapped in some avant/metal package. You can replace the word metal with the word grunge or perhaps punk, however, it's quite noisy. And that's the description of the music: it suits indie / alter tag very well, in fact, it would fit nicely with any of the AmRep artists: MELVINS, HELMET, KILLDOZER or perhaps THE JESUS LIZARD: dry drums, crispy, compressed guitars and guttural, grinding bass. Vocals in your face. With the emphasis on bass, of course. I don't think Mr. Claypool's ultra-fast technique is outstanding, but his ability to make different timbres certainly is. As I said in the title, this one is absolutely 90's. This record made me realize nineties weren't that revolutionary after all; from today, 2008 perspective, it was a logical continuation of the 80's, in any musical subgenre, from electronic dance music to PRIMUS (hm...PIXIES anyone?).

So, where's prog rock in that picture?

Oh, who cares? If you really want: I already mentioned THE RESIDENTS. There's hint or two of ZAPPA or CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, but more in my overall impression than something I could pin down. A few compound time-signatures and tempo changes, but executed more in grungy than prog way of playing (let's add an extra bar!). Guitar is somewhat fripp-esque, sometimes punkish, often nervous, always angular.

Regardless of prog or non-prog tag, this one is worth checking although it might require some time to digest.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#158092) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Review by horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If you're looking for the best bass-related album that isn't full-blown prog, this is the one.

At the risk of sounding terribly obvious, Primus is the type of band that best fits in the "acquired taste" category. Some people enjoy them a bit, some like them a lot, and some don't like them at all. I happen to fit in the second category, although this could be due to the fact that I'm a bassist myself and can't resist a really good bass riff. And believe me, this album is chock full of some of the best bass riffs I've ever heard. Les Claypool in my opinion belongs right up with the likes of some of the best classic prog bassists such as Squire and Rutherford for what he's done with the bass guitar.

Almost all of the tracks are catchy without them becoming cheesy (pun intended); the instrumentation is very tight, with powerful and very explosive bass riffs. The drumming is superb and the use of guitar in a more atmospheric sense with the bass taking the lead the majority of the time is quite interesting in theory and works well in practice for this band. If you want to know what the band sounds like, comparing them to a mix of the driving rhythms of Rush, the eclecticism of King Crimson, and the zaniness found in many RIO and avant-garde bands isn't too far off. Some of the highlights found here include: Here Come the Bastards, American Life, Jerry Was a Race Car Driver, Eleven, Is It Luck?, Tommy the Cat, and Fish On. A few of the songs are a bit repetitive, but overall the musicianship more than makes up for it. Claypool's voice also probably isn't one that can be tolerated by everyone, but it will take repeated listens to tell whether or not you like it. This album however is well worth the patience and effort it may take. For my standards, this is easily 5 stars, and except for the two reasons I mentioned before, I can't think of a really strong reason to give this anything other than 5 stars. If you want something that's different from your everyday batch of Genesis or like the sound of a rhythm-driven band with monster bass riffs, this album is an essential acquisition.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#199597) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Much better than the debut in my opinion.That annoying RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS flavour is gone and this is much more consistant, all the songs are really good. Just the thought of a sea of cheese is just gross though (haha). The music is catchy yet at the same time i'm listening intently to the "lights out" bass, guitar and drum work. Incredibly talented musicians.

"Seas Of Cheese" is a short intro that sounds like an out-take from "The Wall. "Here Come The Bastards" is about the In-Laws coming over for dinner. Kidding ! This has a catchy rhythm with vocals. Killer tune. "SGT. Baker" is funny lyrically. It opens with sounds coming and going then kicks in with the bass and vocals standing out.The bass is so good. "American Life" is more laid back but you know it's going to explode any second. Love the guitar after 3 1/2 minutes as it grinds away. Hey it didn't explode ! Intense anyway. "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" is catchy as usual and the guitar is amazing 2 minutes in. "Eleven" has to be a top three for me. It opens with drums as guitar joins in followed by vocals and a full sound. How good is this when the guitar comes back in. Vocal melodies come and go.

"Is It Luck ?" features some impressive bass and guitar. The vocals are fast paced. "Grandad's Little Ditty" is a short piece with someone singing in the shower. "Tommy The Cat" is another top three. Tom Waits adds vocals here. The bass is something else. Ripping guitar 2 minutes in as it picks up. "Sathington Waltz" is a very cool instrumental. Sounds pulse and throb to start out on "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers". Vocals join in then it kicks in as contrasts continue. Amazing tune, love the guitar. In fact this is the other top three for me. Check out the bass and drums 3 1/2 minutes in. "Fish (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter II)" is laid back until the drums and vocals arrive before 1 1/2 minutes. The guitar is making some noise. We get quite the instrumental display 5 minutes in when it picks up.

It would have been cool to see these guys open for RUSH as they did back in the nineties. A very entertaining album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#282879) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars If anyone still has misgivings about Primus being included on this site, they should pick up a copy of this album. Sure it's loaded with punk sensibilities (hey, do those words belong together?), but it also has Larry LaLonde's wild, disjointed guitar riffs, Les Claypool's even wilder bass hammering, and the pride of every prog fan: exotic time signatures. Yes, on this album, you will hear songs in 5, 7 and even the dreaded 11 (in a song called Eleven).

Highlights on this album include the hilarious Sgt. Baker, about a marine drill sergeant, and the hits, Jerry Was A Race Car Driver and Tommy The Cat, the latter is not as good as the original live version on "Suck On This", but it does have the benefit of a guest appearance by Tom Waits.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#331610) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Primus' Sailing the Seas of Cheese showcases the funky bass and eccentric, off the wall vocals of Les Claypool. Combine this with the band's general love of experimentation and yuou end up with a credible contribution to avant-garde alt-metal. The schtick doesn't quite last the full running time of the album - it isn't quite as varied as, say, Mr Bungle's material, and whilst the band regularly aim for a funky, hypnotic groove sometimes it falls flat and they just sound dull and repetitive. But these are occasional stumbles on an otherwise entertaining album which manages to walk the careful tightrope of introducing a general audience to Primus' unique sound without compromising that sound in the process.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#981004) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars A great discovery is Primus! I started exploring their musical universe by this album and I like it very much. What I specially like of the band is the unique sound it has: crunchy production, creative, very well thought excellent 'in your face' bass lines and riffs, going from Funk to a very Met ... (read more)

Report this review (#123861) | Posted by Barla | Tuesday, May 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Primus is a very hard band to classify. Incorporating elements from a mixture of genres ranging from funk to thrash metal, the three-piece band write some very eclectic, quirky and catchy songs. For anyone looking to explore their works, this album is the place to start. Their second studio ... (read more)

Report this review (#100883) | Posted by East of Lyra | Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Gave this album another spin today, and wow, I forgot how good these guys were! First, let's get a few facts straight: 1. Les Claypool= Bass God! *second only to Geddy* 2. Ler Lalonde is from the deathmetal band, Posessed, so he has a few quirky....quirks in his playing style 3. Primus is jus ... (read more)

Report this review (#78529) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Primus is the result of what can a twisted minded guy such as Les Claypool do when set free. Sailing the Seas of Cheese is certainly the most accessible album from the band, for one reasons; SOME of the songs MAY be catchy for SOME people. Still, any bassist without at least one Primus release in ... (read more)

Report this review (#75302) | Posted by Dr4Wazo | Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a review I wrote while listening to the album for the first time. I've heard Frizzle Fry and Pork Soda before this (and written reviews for both). Seas of Cheese is a nice intro, just a little tune with oceanic and boat noises. Here Come The Bastards is a very heavy track, the riff s ... (read more)

Report this review (#48126) | Posted by | Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm a fan and composer of experimental music, so that tends to color what I enjoy listening to. I don't recommend Primus for anyone and everyone, Les Claypool's whacked out voice is something of an acquired taste, but for those willing to give Primus a try, Seas Of Cheese is an excellent p ... (read more)

Report this review (#47725) | Posted by TheGreatGlorph | Thursday, September 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow. This album is simply outstanding! The highlights being Tommy the Cat, Jerry was a Racecar Driver, and Here Come the Bastards. The song Eleven is very unique in the stance that it is the 11/8 time which is very rarely used, not to mention that the song is great. Some songs, ie. Seas of C ... (read more)

Report this review (#47716) | Posted by | Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first Primus album I owned, and also their most commercially successful. Seas of Cheese flows really nicely all throughout with a good mix of full length songs and short, silly songs, giving the album a edge that most music is missing. It's hard to call "Grandad's Little Ditty" a true song ... (read more)

Report this review (#42355) | Posted by Goblin11 | Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars my 1st Primus album, and a great one at that. Tim, Larry, and Les (along with many guest musicians, including Tom Waits on the song create a strange mixture of 80's King Crimson, Rush, and a tinge of Zappa to make some rythmic, driving, percussive music, led mostly by Claypool's basslines. ... (read more)

Report this review (#41968) | Posted by alan_pfeifer | Sunday, August 07, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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