The Claypool Lennon Delirium
South of Reality



by Simon STAFF
February 23rd, 2019 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A safe, but decent, follow-up to 2016's psychedelic jams.

Back in 2016 when the project came to light, just from namesake alone it will have had experimental and alternative rock fans clamouring at the gates to get a taste of what these two figureheads were about to cook up. Being a huge Les Claypool fan myself, I reserved some intrigue leading up to their debut release – I mean who wouldn’t? One of the most innovative and revered bass players of our time partnering up with the son of John Lennon? It looked like a recipe for superlative weirdness. And maybe that’s where I went wrong; maybe my expectations for Monolith of Phobos were a little high and looking in the wrong places. Idiosyncrasy is not the central focus for this band, nor do I think it was ever intended to be as such, but it doesn’t stop it being any less disappointing. In short, The Claypool Lennon Delirium isn’t out to shake up the status quo, but rather pay homage to the preeminent psychedelic experimentation of the 60s and 70s. It’s a quaint sound to be sure, and it does it well, but the problem I have runs down to fundamental levels; failing to overlook Monolith of Phobos as being an overt Primus-lite-meets-The White Album experience. It’s perfectly crafted for a specific demographic, and the band’s name should sell their sound without really hearing a note of the music, but it’s a little disappointing when you consider the calibre of artistry involved here.

At this point, South of Reality sounds exactly like it should. It still kindles the retro psychedelia they’ve been selling since inception, and is a solid, albeit bloated, ride. “Blood and Rockets - Movement I, Saga of Jack” is clearly written to be a single, containing a similar style of writing to that of Tame Impala’s retrospective mindset: punctuated grooves and catchy, ethereal melodies for the song’s chorus; it’s a solid and concise offering that isn’t as omnipresent as it should be. The signature, groove-heavy Primus stomp is dominant on the likes of “Boriska” and “Little Fishes”, and does a sterling job of pitting you in their colourful celestial world, but for every “Little Fishes” there is a “South of Reality” – a soporific number that lacks the authoritative rhythm of the aforementioned highlights, or the elegant, radio-friendly melodies of “Blood and Rockets - Movement I, Saga of Jack”. The same goes for “Amethyst Realm” – it has some really good ideas at the heart of it, but gives the lasting impression of butter being scraped over too much bread. It doesn’t help that South of Reality continues to struggle with the same mild case of bipolar its predecessor had. Going from the downbeat “Amethyst Realm” into the fully-fledged Primus composition of “Toady Man’s Hour” – complete with all the flamboyant vocal eccentricities and rhythmic traits – is a jarring transition that makes the album feel stitched together at times. That said, if you’ve enjoyed their work up to now, you should find solace in what South of Reality does. Just don’t expect anything else.





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user ratings (35)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


Album Rating: 3.0

aye, tis alright

February 23rd 2019


Really great review

February 23rd 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

The band name and album cover alone is enough to entice me into listening to this

February 25th 2019


Review is fine but it has never made sense to me to judge and rate something based on what you, the listener, wanted out of it.

I'm just jamming this project for the first time and its about exactly what I expected, this is pretty cool.

March 6th 2019


Album Rating: 2.0

Well, apparently people think it is better than good average.

Digging: Dip - I'll Slip Into the Inner Light

March 13th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

Yea this was great! the bass track on 'Little Fishes' sets the mood for the entire record.

I might be biased though since I've always liked Sean Lennon's vocals... I think they fit this type of music way better than his solo efforts.

3.5 / 5 - nice little gem.

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