Review Summary: A huge step from their debut album, Primer 55 has grown and found a new style of music. Although still keeping the rappish vocals. Unfortunatly they still need to re-gather themselves and work on their instruments and everything in between. That step wasn2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Alright I know what you are thinking "Meh Primer 55, didn't they make that album Introduction To Mayhem?" Yeah even I despised that album. But for a little bit, lets forget everything about that album, and the way it sounds. Primer 55's new 2001 release, ironicaly goes by the name of "(The) New Release" is a complete 180 degree turn from the debut album Introduction To Mayhem. But you can still compare Primer 55 with groups like Limp Bizkit, Rage Against The Machine, Mushroomhead, Candiria, hints of Sevendust and others. Just because the vocals are rap influenced. Which is in fact the only thing that is the same from Introduction To Mayhem. In one whole year from 2000-2001 Primer 55 has evolved and their music has grown drastically from almost juvenile rock rap, to an experienced and talented rock group.
Primer 55 is:
Bobby Burns: Guitar, Vocals
Preston Nash: Drums, Percussion
Kobie Jackson: Bass
This album actually starts off with a piano being played by Eddie Wohl. A strange way to start this album off, and really just a waste of a track. But anyways, after that, on track #2, an actual song that goes by the name of "This Life." Right away if I would compare this to Introduction To Mayhem, right away I actually here some nice guitar and bass work. Working together in a tight knit fashion. This is already a big change from (The) earlier release. But like I stated before, Jason still has the rap sound going on. But even his rapping is much easier to take in. You can tell already that they have all evolved and matured. "This Life" is a great track and is always the track that gets stuck in my head after listening. Unlike other tracks, in "This Life" he has a couple parts where he actually sings, without any hint a rap.
"Growing" is another good track, following after "This Life." What I enjoy about "Growing" is the bass work that Kobie displays. Its very noticable throughout the whole song, but is sadly the highlight of this song. Bobby doing back-up vocals for Jason does something that is definitely different for the group in this song. He screams about a third to half way through out the song. I could honestly go without the scream as it just sounds too nasaly and forced. And it clashes with Jasons rap vocals a bit too much. This song all-in-all is decent for a couple listens, but after that it just gets old and his screams get noticably forced. The guitar work in this song is what lacks, is it is nothing but power chords and repetitive. Following shortly after is another highlight of this album for me, head to head with "This Life," is the song "Texas." There is actually nothing super special about this song. The reason it has me bought is because its pretty catchy. Even though Jason's rap style really comes out in this song. I'm able to withstand it, and keep open-minded. Bobby's guitar is actually tuned low in "Texas" and makes a pretty smooth and catchy sound, but then he jumps it up a couple notches after a while and back up to the power chords. Primer 55 still has hints of electronics in just about every one of their songs, but they make a nice touch and don't sound out of place. Keep in mind, it is not often.
Skipping onto track #7 is the song called "Lessons." This song starts low and actually pretty quiet with Jason talking in a distinctive voice, but elevates up to Bobby screaming out lyrics. This song actually has a mini-solo in it, but is honestly nothing impressive or special. "Lessons" reminds me of a Limp Bizkit song off of "2 Dolla Bill Yall." If you know the vibe of that album, you can imagine what I'm talking about. The lyrics even give me Limp Bizkit vibe, for example;
"Sorry I'm anti-social, but people make me sick, give me just one good reason, I should put up with this, everytime I turn my back I've got a knife in it."
Jason sings in a some what angry voice. Obviously nothing deep, and has much meaning behind it. But I can farely say that its a bit better than the lyrics that comes off of Introduction To Mayhem. Jason's vocals in this album are usually groggy if you will, and sometimes he's trying to give out the angry sounding vocals. But you can usually tell when its Bobby that's doing the vocals because he is now the "screamer" of the group.
The track "(502)" is probably the best guitar strumming off of this whole album, and that doesnt really say much. It actually just sounds like a fiddle. A little fiddle solo that you would hear off of an old slave movie from the black and white ages. You can tell they made this track as a joke because there is laughing at the end of it, and its only 25 seconds long.
Skipping onto the track "No Sleep." I get a feeling that this track is about drug use and abuse. Well I get that feeling because at the beginning of the song there is a guy talking about why he likes to use drugs. I know it was obvious. But this track although it drags on, actually has a deep meaning behind it. And is a good song if you want to vent, and have personal issue's with drugs to resolve. Both Jason and Bobby are using their scariest vocals that they think they can pull off, and doesnt sound great but doesnt sound horrible either. Once again, a whole lot of power chords and talent-less strumming. But still worth a listen or two if you have a sweet tooth for something new. Thankfully it ends in a somewhat short 4 minutes.
To give a closing to this album is the ending track that goes by the name of "All In The Family." The drumming in this song is the best that I've heard through the whole album, for one, its actually noticable. And it just shows some actual progression with the drumming, it can actually be mistaken for old Sepultura drumming, if someone didnt know any better that is. But sadly, still just a whole lot of power chords, and a whole lot of nothing special. They switch it up a little bit and Jason does some screaming, and I can honestly say, Bobby's screams are easier to take. Both of them just need to lose the screams, and work on their voices. I have a feeling he'll never ditch the rappish style singing though.
If your going to check Primer 55 out for some reason, if your not a big rap fan, this would be the album to shoot for, but if you do enjoy rock with alot of rap, just go ahead and buy Introduction To Mayhem. I can honestly say that they have grown and evolved alot since Introduction To Mayhem, although it was only a year apart. It makes me curious to see what they will try to pull next. I'm personally not really impressed by this. They need to work on their vocals and everything else. Guitar to drums work, it all needs to improve, and try to lose the repetitiveness of power chords. If this album was 3-4 tracks shorter, it probably wouldn't drag on as much, but it does. For recommended tracks, check out the ones I talked about.