Primus
Tales from the Punchbowl


4.0
excellent

Review

by MustangHobo USER (1 Reviews)
February 19th, 2011 | 14 replies | 3,407 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exceptional album that expands Primus's sound into the realms of the epic while maintaining and reinventing their funk, comedy and progressive tendencies. Flawed only by one too many filler pieces.

Punchbowl is a superb album. It takes you on a bizzarre, darkly fascinating journey - weaving past epic, through esoteric, taking a left at goofy, on into the political, the frightening and the downright silly, and almost, almost holding its coherence to the finish.
The reverberating, thumping, distant sound of crowds and a marching band leading into track 1: Professer Nutbutter's House of Treats, establishes immediately the sheer size of the album's sound. In comparison to previous works Frizzle Fry and Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Punchbowl is far 'wider', and yes more hollow, but definitely sets itself up with a suitable aesthetic for the albums emotive epics 'Southbound Pachyderm' and 'Over the Electric Grapevine'.
As for Primus's trademark irreverance - look no further than 'Wynona's Big Brown Beaver', the band's most popular track and the bane of their existence. Yes, it's a goddamn stupid song, and yes it's almost so well known as to hardly count as Primus - but strip away these truths and you're still left with a fundamentally Primus track. It's funky, its catchiness is defined by its delivery and esotericism (not some hook), the musicianship is top-class and the bass is the lead instrument.
But is the album flawless? No. Sadly, it feels with Punchbowl, as if there weren't quite enough songs to make a full album. While certain tracks are clearly little pieces of fun (e.g Space Farm), others blur the line - with soundscapes, effects and overly frenetic musical lines forcing you to ask the question "Where're all the songs at, Les?"
But then you reach the final third, and "Grapevine" reminds you of the particular weird, dark, Cirque du Americana this album has you occupying. "De Anza Jig" reaffirms the comedy that first attracted you to the band, and you permit them more noises and silliness till the finish. After all, it is Primus.


user ratings (434)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Tucker Best (4.5)
...

FrizzleFried (4)
...

Maximilian Harkness (3)
Primus is awesome when they're Primus, not anyone else....

Cai (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2011



6006 Comments


These guys are complete nut cases.



Digging: Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

bungy
February 19th 2011



8843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wynona has herself a big brown beaver

random
February 19th 2011



2261 Comments


Glass Sandwich has so many drum rolls in it. I like that idea.

scissorlocked
February 19th 2011



3509 Comments


the cover is as weird as the band

Digging: Leon Vynehall - Music For The Uninvited

WashboardSuds
February 19th 2011



4992 Comments


band is freaky as shit, but I love them.
haven't heard this record yet though

Digging: Gas - Nah und Fern

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2011



6006 Comments


i have this on physical copy, but never gave it a thorough listen.

Sailing the Seas of Cheese is great, so is Pork Soda.

I have these on physical copy as well, i listen to them whenever i want to "go off"...

Ovrot
February 19th 2011



10490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Primus sucks hard.


bungy
February 19th 2011



8843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ovrot you are in the top 8 absolute worst users

combustion07
February 20th 2011



5343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best band in the history of music.

Ovrot
February 20th 2011



10490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

who are the other top 7? I want to be the very best, like no one ever was..

Also
Primus sucks!

combustion07
February 20th 2011



5343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

1. Primus
2. Death (they are kind of even though)
3. Black Flag
Honestly can't pick any more

PRIMUS SUCKS INDEED

Ovrot
February 20th 2011



10490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Isn't there suppose to be new primus this year or is that a rumor?

bungy
February 20th 2011



8843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Top 6

Ovrot
February 21st 2011



10490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what do i need to do to be number 1 bungy?



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