Brown Album

Brown Album

Following the amicable departure of longtime drummer Tim Alexander in 1996, Primus faced the task of reinvention. Nü-metal bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit were starting to appropriate the blueprint of early Primus records, but rather than ride the trend he helped create, Les Claypool took Primus in the opposite direction. Befitting its title, The Brown Album embraces a moldy, subterranean sound, less focused on the virtuosic interplay that had been the hallmark of early Primus records. Instead it concentrates on tight, chugging riffs, driven by the intensity and economy of new drummer Brian “Brain” Mantia. If the early Primus records had looked to Rush and Stanley Clarke as models, The Brown Album turns to more recent underground rock heroes like Mudhoney and The Minutemen. In a 1997 interview, Claypool noted that the characters populating The Brown Album are more reality-based than fantasy-based; the same could be said of the music. It’s a drier and more direct version of Primus, one that created some of the its crispest and catchiest songs, including “Golden Boy,” “Shake Hands with Beef,” “Camelback Cinema," and “The Chastising of Renegade.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada