Primus Essentials

Primus Essentials

Of the many experimental metal bands to emerge from the Bay Area in the late '80s, the oddest has to be Primus. The brainy absurdists don't write songs so much as cosmic jokes stuffed with metal, funk, and prog. As the fizzy “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” demonstrates, bassist Les Claypool's gnarled slaps and pops steer both rhythm and melody; “Mr. Krinkle,” which stomps like an enraged ogre, is another key example of their ear-tweaking idiosyncrasy. Primus' chops may be dizzyingly complex, yet jams like the hard bopping "Tragedy's a-Comin'" never wander far from Parliament-flavored fun.

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