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ny2014SOUNDTRACK: PRIMUS-Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People (2003).

animalsAnd then in 2003 Primus reunited-Ler, Les and Herb!  They did a tour and they got together and they jammed out an EP.  While Les has said that the songs flowed pretty easily and that they wrote them pretty quickly, the magic didn’t last very long and after a few shows they went their separate ways.

This release is a combination DVD/EP.  And this post is just about the EP.

There are five songs on the disc.  And my general opinion of the songs is that they would probably sound great live in a cool jamming situation.  But on record most of these songs, even the 4 minute ones, seem really long.  Claypool has been playing with a lot of jamming bands in the hiatus, so that makes sense.  But even when Primus played long songs in the past, they were nicely varied.  These 7 minutes songs are pretty much the same riff over and over with an occasional break for a solo.

And it’s a shame because the riffs are interesting and the solos sound great but none of these songs should be more than 4 minutes long.

The EP starts promising with “The Carpenter and the Dainty Bride.”  It has a fun crazy bass and a cool guitar intro before the vocals come in.  But its when the vocals come in that the song grows kind of uninteresting—they are whispered and a little hard to understand.  And the music is a little too simple for such a mellow section.  When the solo comes in–at 4:42–the change is welcomed, but it’s a long way to get there.  When the song restarts, it’s a little disappointing.  “Pilcher’s Squad”  is under 2 minutes.  It’s a nice change to have a short stomper.  The guitar squeaks are cool, but the song is not that memorable.

“Mary the Ice Cube”  was the single from the album.  The bass and guitar are interesting, but the lyrics are just so blah–almot like Les was trying to “do” a Primus song.  The song feels like it drags on for a really long time and yet it’s only 4:30.  “The Last Superpower aka Rapscallion” has cool big round bass and crazy guitars, but I really don’t like the vocals, especially the “don’t like…you” section which seems way un-Primus to me.  I do like the King Crimson guitar part and the wild solo at 3:30, (even if the songs feels like it should be over by then).  After all the solos its hard to fathom that the song starts up again, which it does.

“My Friend Fats”  ends the disc and is also kind of disappointing.  The whole melody of the song seems to be a few drum thuds with some occasional sounds from bass and guitar.  It also feels like it could have ended about 3 minutes earlier.  Lyrically it’s interesting though, I would have liked it with more interesting music (and for it to be a lot shorter).

The whole EP feels like a lot of good ideas that could be edited into something tighter and more exciting.

It’s a good thing that the DVD is so awesome.

[READ: January 19, 2015] “Eykelboom”

This was a strange story–the first I have read by Brad Watson.  Although perhaps it is strange because I didn’t have a sense of who or what Eykelboom was when the story started.   Even the first sentence, “Where had they comes from, the Eykelbooms?” wasn’t very helpful.

It turned out that the Eykelbooms were a family that had moved into the neighborhood.  The boys suspected they were from Indiana or Illinois: “some crude and faceless Yankee state” (!).  Mr Eykelboom owned a dump truck and he would roar up and down the road blaring his awful horn as he went, letting everyone know he was coming, even though no one cared.

But the biggest problem with the Eykelbooms was their son.  He hung around with the other boys but he never quite fit in.  He was clean and neat and not a troublemaker and he was fordbidden from dong many of the things that the neighborhood boys did like playing in the drainage ditch–a great hide out if ever there was.  Or to go in the forest (the man who owned the property before selling some for the extant houses also owned the forest and he hated the neighborhood kids). (more…)

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