Tales from the Punchbowl



by Cai USER (1 Reviews)
August 7th, 2005 | 86 replies

Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Band: Primus
Album: Tales From The Punchbowl (1996)
Genre: 'Primus'
Music: Les Claypool (Bass), Larry LaLonde (Guitar), Tim "Herb" Alexander (Drums)
Lyrics: Les Claypool

Track 1 - Professer Nutterbutter's House of Treats (7:13)

The introduction track to Tales of the Punchbowl is a nice little blend of what sounds to be a live audience and wacky lyrics, with some interesting alternating parts between Les and Ler. The basic story of the song is Professor Nutterbutter who gives out candy and the like to everyone in town. Thought it is a tad long, and part of the song Les is mumbling some undecipherable mumbo jumbo about worms, it's still a fun intro to the cd. 3.5/5.0

Track 2 - Mrs. Blaileen (3:20)

Now this song is another wacky Primus-y lyrical song, with lyrics that branch off from one story to another. Mrs. Blaileen picked on one slower kid, and the adventures of Donny take place throughout the song. The sound of the song is a bit grim with the bass and guitar combining to creat booms, and Ler does this repetitive angry static thing in the background. The solo in the middle ain't too shabby, and kinda brings Primus away from that angry tone and makes it fun again. Also, the echoing of vocals can be uite eerie. However, something about this song just loses it's natural Primusness.3.0/5.0

Track 3 - Wynona's Big Brown Beaver (4:24)

One of the more popular Primus songs, I can see why it had it's 15 minutes of fame. The sound of the song is very upbeat and fun, with the combination of Ler's yelping and Ler's guitar. The lyrics talk about Wynona's caged beaver and his shenanigans. Though it's a fun song, again I think it's just missing what makes Primus, well, Primus. 4.0/5.0

Track 4 - Southbound Pachyderm (6:22)

I must say this song is one of my favorites, due to the change in pace for Primus. Les strums the bass a whole heck of a lot more than usual, and the song is very chill for the most part. The quietness is often interrupted by minor thrashes of the guitar, and then the song hits full swing. It gives you a slightly sad feeling, as Les' voice elevates at the end of the each line, paired with his quiet vocals. I think best viewed with the video, which is probably my favorite Primus video. It's only flaw is it's length, which could be downtoned for the casual Primus listener. 4.5/5.0

Track 5 - Space Farm (1:45)

A short little interlude featuring animal noises and a synthesiszer of some sort, with a jumpy bass pattern. It's one of those things that makes Primus so strange, though easily skipped by any listener, no matter how hardcore. 4.0/5.0

Track 6 - Year of the Parrot (5:45)

The song comes in with a drum solo skillfully executed, and then Les hops into the song. Ler's guitar compliments the vocals nicely, and even hold their own as the song chugs along. I think the song is far too long, though I do like the alternating 'bum, bum' of the bassline during the song. 3.0/5.0

Track 7 - Hellbound 17 1/2 (Theme From) (2:59)

Just looking at the title you can tell this song will be wacky, and indeed it is. The lyrics make little sense as the guitar makes a lot of carhorn type sounds, and sounds a bit like the guitar part in Wynona's Big Brown Beaver. The drums are thumping and demadning, as Les does his thing. 3.5/5.0

Track 8 - Glass Sadnwich (4:05)

Starting out much like Year of the Parrot, there's a solid drumming part, but this time Ler screeches in with a short thrashing pattern. Les is playing his upright, and just doing a grim thing. The song is dark sounding, as the guitar makes a spooky pattern during the chorus. The song kind of gets boring after a few minutes, with the lyrics detaling a predicament of sorts. A man pays for a 'show' of sorts, only to realize one of the women is his former love. Probably the closest thing to a love song for Primus, actually. 3.5/5.0

Track 9 - Del Davis Tree Farm (3:23)

I really like the bass part in this song, returning to a more funky style with Ler making a very monotonous static in the background. Les' exclamations during the song about a Christmas tree seller make this a nice song, and one of the best on the album. 4.5/5.0

Track 10 - De Anza Jig (2:26)

A little ditty type thing, with a banjo or mandolin, and a soft drum beat. Quite a catchy tune with a distant sounding Les as he plucks on his bass, detaling some of his old friends. I like the ditty myself, though I'm sure many skip it. 4.0/5.0

Track 11 - On The Tweek Again (4:41)

Much like 'Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers', this song is about amphetamine and it's use. The song is pretty grim, with the bass sticking to the lower notes, and the guitar kinda spewing out a few notes every few moments, and the drum just pounding and pounding. I like the song, and it's very chill. 4.0/5.0

Track 12 - Over The Electric Grapevine (6:25)

I really like this song, and it's probably the second best song on the album, chasing Southbound Pachyderm. They are very similiar in length, and the song is a fun piece, but again it's length is it's downfall. I like the solo, and the fast beat it keeps throughout the whole of the song. 4.5/5.0

Track 13 - Captain Shiner (1:17)

A little jig, featuring seagulls and waves. There's a nice little bass part and Les' random noises in the background that seem to echo. There's also a loud assault on your ears with who know's what. Something that nobody probably skips, for it's the end of the album. 3.0/5.0

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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 7th 2005


good review i love primus

August 7th 2005


Ive only heard a few Primus songs and based on what Ive heard I am wondering why they are in the metal section.

August 27th 2005


primus fits best in experimental metal

August 27th 2005


or maybe funk-metal

August 27th 2005


In the absence of either of those two genres, I put them in metal. Bear in mind that they're basically unclassifiable by any conventional means...I know that itunes's software puts them in a genre of their own.

Dried Muffin Remnants
September 22nd 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

They could be in metal because of their thrash influences and Ler's playing... So I guess they fit.

Anyways, this has become my favorite Primus album. While many Primus purists dislike it, I happen to think it is the greatest work of musicianship that they show. Herb's drumming is incredible, and Ler has great jam solos.

Fav songs from this album:

Prof Nutbutter: Love the funkiness and progression of the song.

Southbound Pachyderm: trippy prog and great musicianship.

Del Davis Tree Farm: funky as hell

Year of the Parrot: Great solo and great drumming

Album: 4.8/5This Message Edited On 09.22.05

December 12th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

This album is amazing.Any drummer should own this album.I think it shows Primus at their prime.

December 29th 2005


"Les strums the bass a whole heck of a lot more than usual"
In this quote are you meaning that Les doesnt usually play alot in their songs? Because Primus is mainly Les Claypool.

December 29th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

One thing that this review didn't point out is that "Captain Shiner" is an instrumental reprise of "De Anza Jig" with ocean sounds added. Just thought I'd clear that up.This Message Edited On 12.29.05

December 29th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

My favorite song on here has to be "Professor Nutbutter..." That's one of Primus' greatest songs if you ask me.

February 6th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

This has to be the most experimental album they did. One of the goodies too. Though many people seem to deem it as their weakest. All I dislike is the coverart, which is a silly thing to care about anyway.

February 6th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

The cover art is weird, but so are Primus.

February 6th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Decent review, but I didn't like all of your ratings. I mean, you ranked Space Farm above Professor Nutbutter? I always saw Space Farm as filler material.

Anyhow, some of the songs on here are amongst the best Primus songs I've heard, but others are extremely weak. I like Frizzle Fry a lot better, personally.

February 12th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Just for the sake of posting opinions, Hellbound is one of my fav's off this for some odd reason.

Shadowed Reflection
December 25th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Mrs. Baileen is my favourite off this album, but I really dislike this album.

January 10th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

I really hated this album. With a band like Primus who plays the same stuff over and over again, this album doesn't stand out at all. I'm a fan of The Brown Album and Sailing the Seas of Cheese but not this.

February 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I love how you used "Primus" as a genre.

February 11th 2007


This album is clearly not the best, but I suppose to Primus fans it is enjoyable.

Shadowed Reflection
May 5th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Actually, I've changed my mind a lot: I like this album quite a bit, it certainly grows on you. Nutterbutter is probably my favourite song off it. Antipop is probably Primus's weakest album.

May 5th 2007


Decent review, but your track descriptions are a bit rudimentary and only get shorter towards the end.

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