|Top 10 Primus Songs|
Over the last few years, I'm moved from a curious listener to a serious
prawn follower. After listening to the full Primus discography, I've compiled
my Top 10 songs by the weirdest alt metal band of the 90's.
|10||"Southbound Pachyderm" (Tales From the Punchbowl)|
Eerie in every sense of the word, this single from Tales From the Punchbowl quietly
creeps in with a slithering bass line before rattling into a metal beat. Alexander?s
tingling cymbals and Claypool?s creaky bass comes to a head with LaLonde rattling his
guitar into an echoing solo. The climax of the song reaches near-chaos: trembling
rhythms, overlayed and distorted vocals and screeching guitars reach a critical mass
before dropping down instantly and fading away.
|9||"Is It Luck?" (Sailing the Seas of Cheese)|
This bizarre track from Sailing the Seas of Cheese is a corkscrew of a recording. With
an infectiously twanging bass-slapping rhythm and the siren-esque guitar squeals, ?Is
It Luck?? comes perfectly together with Les Claypool?s yodeling vocals. He dashes
between the mumbling and wailing like no one?s business, all with LaLonde pushing out
jagged guitar solos like Alex Lifeson hopped up on a dozen cups of coffee. It?s just
|8||"To Defy the Laws of Tradition" (Frizzle Fry)|
The six-minute opener to the group?s debut LP Frizzle Fry, ?To Defy the Laws of
Tradition? has the underlying bellow of early metal, the screeching energy of alternative
rock, and the virtuosity and curiosity of prog rock. LaLonde?s guitars are wavy and fluid
alongside the steadfast drums of Alexander and Claypool?s wonky bass. When the music
drops and Claypool says ?I wonder who?s gonna go to hell,? the entire band?s core
essence is able to bide and burst with unprecedented energy.
|7||"Hennepin Crawler" (Green Naugahyde)|
The first proper track on the group?s reunion album Green Naugahyde, ?Hennepin
Crawler? tells the troubles of the American Dream and abandoning your soul simply to
get by. Claypool sneers his vocals with his effect-laden bass warps and Jay Lane?s
light-as-air drumming. The ending reaches a poignant climax with Claypool wailing ?You
get to bite that pie in the sky!? before all three musicians break down and cut with a
|6||"Jerry Was a Racecar Driver" (Sailing the Seas of Cheese)|
Even without the Tony Hawk Pro Skater nostalgia, ?Jerry Was a Racecar Driver? from
Sailing the Seas of Cheese was just as warped and proggy as it was radio-friendly. A
bonking bass beat from Claypool roars into LaLonde?s screechy, garage rock solo. A
short burst of goofiness and creativity, ?Jerry Was a Racecar Driver? moves between
a haunting call from Claypool, a nimble drum line from Alexander, and a heavy
breakdown smashing dead center in the song.
|5||?Hoinfodaman? (Green Naugahyde)|
One of the standout tracks from the band?s post-hiatus album Green Naugahyde
album, ?Hoinfodaman? brings out a dark, funky bass line from Claypool with a revving
guitar riff from LaLonde. Drummer Jay Lane taps and thumps with a fluid drum beat,
as Claypool snarls the story about selling out to an advertising company. It?s one of
Primus? funkiest tracks, a fine way to rekindle their weird-as-hell spirit after a long
|4||"My Name Is Mud" (Pork Soda)|
Arguably the band?s calling card, ?My Name Is Mud? perfectly represents the dark,
eerie nature of Pork Soda. An extremely low-tuned bass rhythm and textured guitar
solos from LaLonde follow the disturbing story of a brainless yokel who murders his
friend after getting into an argument with him. Not convinced of its creepy nature?
How about a sample from the movie Deliverance?
|3||?Wynona?s Big Brown Beaver? (Tales From the Punchbowl)|
One of Primus? most successful singles, ?Wynona?s Big Brown Beaver? features
Claypool?s goofy narration over LaLonde?s nimble guitars and Alexander?s jazzy drums.
Much more upbeat and quirky than many of the other songs from Tales From the
Punchbowl, the song proved a radio hit and remains one of the finest examples of the
group?s devil-may-care attitude with rock music.
|2||"The Toys Go Winding Down" (Frizzle Fry)|
With a bass rhythm that could shake a stadium and Claypool?s eerily echoed lyrics,
?The Toys Go Winding Down? is easily the strongest track on the group?s debut LP. The
rushing chorus and haunting lyrics slowly simmer to a quiet bridge with LaLonde?s
slippery guitar sounds. One of the heaviest tracks in Primus? discography, it marks the
group?s reverence for metal, even when being their weird selves.
|1||"Tommy the Cat (Live)" (Rhinoplasty EP)|
Containing all the bass-tacular technicality of the original recording, the live version of
?Tommy the Cat? from the Rhinoplasty EP features a lengthy solo from the Reddings'
track ?The Awakening? along with Bryan Mantia going absolutely insane in a furious
drum solo, all before going back to square one, the 90?s classic that proved Primus to
be one of the most ruthlessly creative rock groups of their time.