Primus
Tales from the Punchbowl


3.0
good

Review

by Maximilian Harkness USER (65 Reviews)
December 20th, 2008 | 28 replies | 3,440 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Primus is awesome when they're Primus, not anyone else.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Primus is one of those groups where, if I hear anyone make even the slightest remark against them, I will start a debacle with them that will probably last their entire lives. Of the entire music scene, they’re easily among the weirdest bands ever, combining elements of Funk, Metal, Folk, Polka, Psychedelic Rock, ect. This form of diversity comes from Bass Player, vocalist, and Lead songwriter Les Claypool, who stands out as Bass Guitar’s response to Steve Vai. He slaps, traps and yaks all of us with bass lines that you wish you could play, and maybe a bit glad you don’t try to compete. Les Claypool and his band’s fourth studio album, Tales From The Punchbowl, was considered kind of disappointment for fans who really liked early Primus releases, but from long time fanboy Max Harkness, I appreciate this album even if it is a little bit of a change for the commercial good of Primus.

Tales from the Punchbowl starts out with the seven minute “Professor Nutbutter’s House of Treats”, and head first we get everything that’s good about Primus: Les’s Funk Metal slapping, Melo-Metal riffing, driving drum beats, and of course, the Zappa-esqe lyrics and whiny vocals. However, after this song, the album is somewhat a mixed bag, though almost purposely inconsistent like most Primus albums. “Mrs. Blaileen” is easily one of the more metal songs on the album, heavy guitar riffing and energetic bass play galore, but the song is also one of the more repetitive beasts on Tales from the Punchbowl. “Wyona’s Big Brown Beaver” is nice track, with psychedelic metal bass guitar playing and some nice southern rock-inspired guitar riffing.

From what you’ve heard from, you’re probably thinking this is a generic Primus record, awesome. Not so, this album has the intrusion of an army of softer songs. “Southbound Pachyderm” is Primus’s attempt at a metal ballad, and as hard as they try not to, the song drags on and on with boring riffs and even when a cool bass riff does come along (only one really does), it gets over-used to the point of anger. “Over the Electric Grapevine” is like Primus’s attempt at one of those gimmicky indie songs that critics love to call quirky, and yet it is easily one of the better tracks on this album. The layers of guitar, bass, and echo-effect ridden vocals make for a rather enjoyable listen. “On The Tweek Again” is easily among Primus’s darkest songs, with doom-like slow melodies and evil, drab riffing, making for an oddly haunting listen that sounds a bit awkward, especially on a Primus album.

The fact is, though, Primus are much better at just being Primus. Some fans of Primus might call an album like this their Black Album, due to the more commercial inclusion, but I really wouldn’t compare this to such a bad album! Tales from the Punchbowl starts out rather awesome like most Primus albums, but takes a downward turn due to experimentation with softer elements and poor execution of those elements. Tales from the Punchbowl is still a good release, especially when Primus stick to being themselves, but when they don’t, they just don’t live up to the standards they set up for themselves.

Recommended:
“Professor Nutbutter’s House of Treats”
“Mrs. Blaileen”
“Over the Electric Grapevine”



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Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


Love Primus, not so much this album, even though Professor Nutbutter is awesome.

mutatedfreek
December 20th 2008



7351 Comments


Great review man.

you’re probably thinking this is a generic Primus record, boring.


How is a generic Primus album boring?? In fact how could Primus be boring at all?

bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


Good point.

i'll replace it with cool.This Message Edited On 12.20.08

ironzeppelin789
December 20th 2008



133 Comments


I hear Primus' bass player is awesome.

bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


Damn straight he is.

Even on this album.

mutatedfreek
December 20th 2008



7351 Comments


Les is a god among bass players.

magictikkleCwicked
December 20th 2008



272 Comments


Very nice review but I think the intro sounds too biased, the first sentence was enough to let us know you like Primus :P. I haven't heard this album yet.

bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


Danke.

Lunarfall
December 20th 2008



3177 Comments


album sucks get frizzle fry fo shizzle

ironzeppelin789
December 20th 2008



133 Comments


Yeah I've heard frizzle fry is better.


bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


Frizzle Fry is frizzlingly amazing.

Boognish
December 20th 2008



1003 Comments


Nice review. Not the best Primus album but i like pretty much everything they do.

bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


same here except for The Brown Album. That album sucked.

Lunarfall
December 20th 2008



3177 Comments


it was ok 1/5

jk havent heard it and never want toThis Message Edited On 12.20.08

kygermo
December 20th 2008



994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Usually when somebody insults Primus, they have no idea what they sound like. Good review pal.

bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


thanks man.

This guy at my school insulted Primus once, then I let him listen to my copy Frizzle Fry and now he's a fan.

lol

Doppelganger
December 20th 2008



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah this album is a primus dud

bastard
December 20th 2008



3435 Comments


the first of the Primus duds.

wasn't as much of a dud as those other ones.

BludgeonySteve
December 20th 2008



558 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah I love Primus but this one is pretty average by their standards.

Skyler
December 20th 2008



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album pretty much marks the beginning of the end of primus



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