Review Summary: They're at it again.
Primus is at a weird junction in its career; creatively at least, anyway. It would appear Les is beyond making a conventional album these days, preferring to release albums which could be cynically summed up as novelty. Ever since the release of the excellent Green Naugahyde
in 2011, any album to come out since has been set around the concept of a children’s book. 2014’s Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble
was an enjoyable, yet, equally flawed follow-up, which lacked the core foundations of what made Primus so fun to begin with; being restrained on a creative level due to the very concept it’s trying to sell to its listeners.
The Desaturating Seven
follows in the footsteps of its former in a lot of ways, and is yet another frustratingly suppressed listen; loosely based on Ul de Rico’s children’s book The Rainbow Goblins
, the record centres round a big chunk of ambience and psychedelic jams, interspersed with actual music. The music itself –when it actually kicks in – lends a lot of ideas from Rush; progressive riffs and the signature Primus bounce. And I’ll be open in saying, these moments are excellent. “The Trek” is one of the strongest numbers here, setting off with a ticking delay, before slipping in layers of spacey effects – delivering the same dank, macabre atmosphere ...Fungi Ensemble
brought at times – and then flourishing with the band’s usual, super-tight rhythms and eccentric guitar licks.
The problem: there isn’t enough actual
music here to warrant listening to this more than two or three times. At just 7 tracks, it’s over before it has even begun, and with focus being set around ambiance and mood-making (something which is well made here, regardless), songs like “The Scheme”, “The Trek” and “The Storm” just aren’t enough to hold up the glaring flaws. I’ll give Primus their credit, these concept albums are uniquely different, and if I was basing my opinion entirely around their kooky themes and decent ability at making good soundtrack-esque pieces, then it would get full marks. But I speak for myself, and hopefully others, when I say I listen to Primus for wacky lyrics, crazy musicianship and rhythms. And when The Desaturating Seven
offers only a 1/3 of this, it just isn’t enough to look past what this LP ends up being; which is ultimately just another novelty record than a proper album.
Here’s to next time.
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A