This Album is the embodiment of Primus. Newcomers to Primus should jump towards this album first (or second, I guess). It’s heavy. it’s technically impressive. AND it is a display of some young, sweaty, ambitious musicians from So Cal acting as the desperately needed left field player in a team full of pitchers. In my biased opinion, it is the most Primus-y of Primus albums. Every fan recites the songs and lines from this song like scripture and it has some of the most sing-a-long-able parts when you see them live.
Special Edition has two bonus tracks, “Hello Skinny/Constantinople.” A couple of Residents covers on one file end the album on a really unsettling note, but it works. I like the way it wraps it up.
“The first album I ever bought,” is a common thing to say when talking about some of the best music we’ve ever heard. That “first album” sticks with us for our entire lives. In the right context, we get to throw that little phrase out with full enthusiasm whenever the time is right. Quick someone is listening to your “first.” Time to make a new friend! Roll up them sleeves and take a deep breath to start jabbering about how it changed you. It was the first of many to follow and it’s time to blast someone in the ears with your experience; MY experience came from the necessity to stop listening to ragtime. Scott Joplin tunes can only take you so far in the cosmos.
I walked to the local Fred Meyer electronics section and just looked at all of the album art for something that intrigued me. First thing I noticed is that anything that was simple a picture of the band wasn’t gonna cut it. They all looked the same. I wanted something more… I don’t even know. I had NO idea what I was looking for… until I saw it.
Frizzle Fry by Primus.
Holy crap! That looks like it was sculpted out of clay! It WAS sculpted out of clay! Oh that’s awesome! *13 year old me then turns the album around* AH! Another sculpture! This is awesome. Both pieces of artwork are equally strange in their own right.
This little feller (fellers?) wasn’t what convinced me to buy it in the first place… but it was definitely the last thing I saw before I started walking to the counter.
I got home to an empty house. The weather was perfect for sitting inside (*shrug* it’s Washington State. What are you gonna do?) So I slammed that CD into the family heirloom record, tape, and CD player; This music furniture was built before I was born so it was basically a member of the family.
Lo and Behold… THIS is Primus!
Every freaking track. I listened to the entire album start to finish just sitting there right in front of the stereo spacing out at the analog EQ settings. Before I knew it the album was over, about an hour had passed and I started the whole thing over again (D.C. al Fine!) My folks came home and I had to cut it short early. Fortunately, I was on the filler track You Can’t Kill Michael Malloy cause my mom probably would not have appreciated the “loud noises.”
As I went to my room (which was also the room of two other siblings) with my little treasure in my hand I realized I needed my own CD player… STAT! I didn’t have allowance like some friends I knew, so I had to mow some lawns in the neighborhood or something. So I pretty much immediately walked around asking the old folks if I could mow their lawn. Long story short I got a few clients and saved up some cash, bought a CD player, had like $20 left over and bought another Primus album (Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Another great album cover). I gobbled up so much Primus it made me sick. I needed something different.
BACK TO FRED MEYER!!!
I started looking for another album with great artwork that struck me as unique. I figured if the album art was “different” I’d probably like it. I discovered my next musical adventure. Hand-drawn, unique, fun band name and I didn’t know what the band members looked like right off the bat. Perfect.
Oysterhead – The Grand Pecking Order.
I bought it without looking at the back. No questions asked.
Got home, slapped it in MY cd player…
… is this….wait…. *opens booklet*…. ……is this Les Claypool? His name is even printed right on the back! I didn’t even notice. Silly me. *head bop*
I accidentally bought ANOTHER album with Les Claypool’s bass work and vocals. This is when I learned that some people probably have multiple bands. And I started to be interested in looking into other projects in which each of these musicians has their musical hand. The Police, Phish, Frog Brigade and pretty much every other Claypool project up until 2002 or 2003. I made my list of things to purchase and study; At this point, it became a “study.”
And I went back to mowing more lawns, but this time with a portable CD player.
p.s. if you liked this article or if you love Primus
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