Music » CD Reviews

Primus

Suck on This/Frizzle Fry (Prawn Song)

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Rising out of the San Francisco alt-rock scene of the late '80s, the peculiar metal-funk trio Primus became one of the most unlikely successes of MTV's second generation. Bassist extraordinaire Les Claypool, drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander, and guitarist Larry LaLonde penned goofy, blue-collar metal ballads whose bizarreness nearly outmatched the group's musical prowess. Primus sired seven madcap LPs in the '90s, but none attests to the group's awesome musical talents more than the first two, Suck on This and Frizzle Fry, both recent reissues on Claypool's Prawn Song Records.

This is Primus at its most primeval. Suck on This, recorded live at two shows in 1989, captures the threesome's greatness onstage, fine-tuning its patented start-stop/high-low dynamics and belting out thrashy avant-rock classics like "John the Fisherman" and "Tommy the Cat." Frizzle Fry, recorded in 1990, marks the debut of Primus's acid-metal originality in the studio, accentuating Claypool's virtuoso bass work and high-pitched hillbilly vocals. Both reissues are digitally remastered, with updated liner notes, and Frizzle Fry even includes an added cover medley of the Residents' "Hello Skinny/ Constantinople."

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