Primus Presents: A Tribute to Primus!
There are two kinds of bands that vex every music lover. The first and most profligate type are those acts that through some fluke or freak accident made one amazing album, but hamstrung by a general lack of talent or overweening love of the sleaze stardom affords never manage to get it together for more than a year or two, though their career lurches on for another ten years. The other, far rarer and more vexing type is the band packed to the gills with top-caliber musicians with signature sounds, that for whatever reason, feel the need to just dick around for an hour. Primus has always been a prime example of the latter.
To deny the influence that Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde have had on music is a great way to show your ignorance. From the get-go Primus always reeked of potential untapped, tempered always by the unshakable feeling that they didn’t take themselves seriously. Green Naugahyde starts out remarkably strong for a Primus album, with songs like the linked “Prelude to a Crawl” and “Hennepin Crawler” taking on a more kraut-inspired tone. However, it’s not long before Primus ventures back to the comfortable, well-worn territory of their previous albums. All at once the attempts to sounds like Capt. Beefheart, the aimless, cyclical riffing, and Les Claypool slapping his bass like a malfunctioning TV descend on us en masse, and the promise of the early part of the album is dashed. Green Naugahyde grinds to a close sounding more like a Primus tribute album than a brand-new effort.
If you’re already a die-hard Primus fan, than this is more of what you love, and you can come away from Green Naugahyde completely satisfied. For the rest of us though, it’s another reminder that, as always, still waters grow stagnant, thus making Green Naugahyde a true quagmire.