Primus

The Desaturating Seven

Written by: RUB on 30/01/2018 16:57:17

And now for something completely different: Primus is ready to take us on yet another strange journey with their ninth studio album, “The Desaturating Seven”. This is only their second album in 23 years to feature Tim Alexander — the drummer behind such classics as “Tommy the Cat”, “My Name is Mud” and “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” — so if you needed a reason to be excited about this record, there you have it. It is a concept album revolving around the children’s book, “Rainbow Goblins” — apparently, these are goblins that feed on colour from rainbows, as mentioned in the intro to “The Valley”. The effort only has a short length of 35 minutes, so there’s not much room for filler of any kind, but given that it revolves around a concept, it should still be able to set the mood for the tale ahead.

Apart from Alexander, the trio consists of Larry LaLonde on guitar and Les Claypool as the bass-virtuoso and vocalist. Together, they create a weird-sounding, very bass-heavy soundscape which, together with plenty of off-kilter drumming and bizarre riffs and sounds, results in the band’s very own alternative and musical universe. If you’re not familiar with Primus or haven’t been scared off by my introduction, you’re in for a treat since as far as I know, this is a much more progressive album when compared to their other releases. Take, for example, one of the highlights of the album: “The Storm”. Coupled with Claypool’s eerie sounding voice and a heavy, audible bass, the sound unfolds into something progressive and magnificent. As mentioned in the Wikipedia article about this record, King Crimson’s “Discipline” has been a huge inspiration for Primus during its writing, but I also hear some Rush influences in several places. It is a weird combination, as it sounds like they aren’t as ‘serious’ about their music as those two aforementioned artists. But at the same time, it makes for a very intriguing listen; one that perhaps only a few other bands master, given how wonderfully strange and weird the style is.

The bass, as already mentioned, is a huge part of Primus’ sound, and not unlike in previous Primus songs, the instrument sets the mood for “The Seven”; combined with the other instruments, it gives a marching feel to the song — think that scene from Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” where the dwarfs march out of a mine. And always just under the surface is the strangeness that is the essence of Primus, whether it is the odd riff and structure in that song, or the peculiar way in which Claypool tells a story with his distinctive madman-voice in “The Trek”.

Before grading this, I must confess that I didn’t really like the first single, “The Seven”, or even the album as a whole at first. I found that it was both boring and devoid of any ‘hits’, which do exist on their previous albums. But now that I’ve listened through it so many times, I have to say that it has really grown on me. Both drums, guitar and bass work together extremely well and forge some excellent songs. Of course, if you cannot take to the strangeness of both the songs and Claypool’s voice, you’re probably not going to like it. But if you’re into some different-sounding alternative rock with plenty of catchy riffs and smooth bass lines, which on top of everything tells a story about some weird fairytale land with rainbow-eating goblins in it, then you will feel right at home in Primus’ oddly mesmerizing universe.

Download: The Seven, The Storm, The Trek, The Scheme
For the fans of: Oysterhead, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, King Crimson, Rush
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.07.2017
ATO Records

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