Pork Soda: Primus

Rating: 95%

Porksodacover.jpgIn 1993, Primus released “Pork Soda.” This was the album that introduced me to the band when I heard 98 Rock play “Mr. Krinkle.” I remember hearing that song and thinking what the hell was that. I never heard any band sound or sing like that before.

This album does push the sounds and styles to the limit. It’s funky, progressive, bluegrassy in some spots and it’s weird. But, it works and sounds awesome. The musicianship is killer and the song structures, although weird, are written great.

The talents of Les Claypool on bass and vocals, combined with the guitar work of Larry LaLonde, and the drummer Tim Alexander is what makes Primus such a great band. If you’re into weird offbeats, scales and such, this album is a good one. The bass is the main instrumentation you’ll notice and Claypool’s style blends many influences together when he plays. The guitar work of LaLonde is just as balanced when it comes to style. These two instruments seem to go off in many different directions, but yet, it sounds really good. Alexander’s drumming is what holds everything in place.

With that being said, this is a very dark album. Themes deal with murder, suicide, and alienation. But, yet, with all of the darkness and strange song structures, this album was the one that brought Primus into the mainstream.

Track listing:

1. “Pork Chop’s Little Ditty” 0:21
2. “My Name Is Mud” 4:48
3. “Welcome to This World” 3:40
4. “Bob” 4:40
5. “DMV” 4:58
6. “The Ol’ Diamondback Sturgeon (Fisherman’s Chronicles, Part 3)” 4:39
7. “Nature Boy” 5:35
8. “Wounded Knee” 2:25
9. “Pork Soda” 2:20
10. “The Pressman” 5:11
11. “Mr. Krinkle” 5:27
12. “The Air Is Getting Slippery” 2:31
13. “Hamburger Train” 8:11
14. “Pork Chop’s Little Ditty” 1:03
15. “Hail Santa” 1:51


Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People: Primus

Rating: 90%

cd-animals-lgIn 2003, Primus returned after a few year layover with the EP, “Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People.” This also included the classic Primus line up. You have the one and only Les Claypool on vocals and various bass guitars, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander. This EP contains those quirky lyrics, silly vocals, amazing musicianship, and great song structures that only Primus can write and perform.

The musicianship is what gives Primus that big beefy sound. Les Claypool, vocals aside, is am amazing bass player. His weird scales makes the bass more of an extension of his personality. His style of funk that mixes slapping, tapping, and strumming on the bass is a classic trademark and all of that bass goodness is clearly heard on this EP.  All the members of Primus are such great song writers.

Then you have guitarist Larry LaLonde who play right along side with the bass talent. His style of noises, riffs, leads and fills makes Primus’s sound even better. Only Primus can create this weirdness of sounds and song structures and make it work. Not to many bands out there can accomplish what Primus has done.

Keeping up with the bass an guitars is drummer Tim Alexander. His style of weird tempos, time signatures and off beats brings Primus’s sound together. Tim is one hell of a good drummer in order to keep pace with Les Claypool.

I love every track on this EP. The opening bass lines to “The Carpenter and the Dainty Bride.” It’s weird and then you have the guitar that comes fading in. It’s very psychedelic.  “Mary the Ice Cube” the highlight on this album. I love the bass lines of this song. It’s mellow and complex. I love the lyrics as to how the relationship with an ice cube is similar to that of a woman. I love the weird song structure “The Last Superpower aka Rapscallion.”

Track listing:

1. “The Carpenter and the Dainty Bride” 6:35
2. “Pilcher’s Squad” 1:54
3. “Mary the Ice Cube” 4:37
4. “The Last Superpower aka Rapscallion” 7:16
5. “My Friend Fats” 7:55

Blackacidevil: Danzig 5

Rating: 90%


The 1996 release.

So in 1996, you see Glenn Danzig with a totally new outlook on music. With no members left of the classic Danzig lineup, what should Glenn Danzig do? Well…experiment musically and seek new styles. After all, after the release of Danzig II in 1990, Glenn stated that he would never put out the same album twice. He kept to his word. The end result was the 1996 release of Danzig 5 with”Blackacidevil.”

So, is this is Blues record? No! This record sounds nothing like Danzig’s previous records. In fact, this record stands alone when it comes to even trying to put a genre to it. Is it Experimental? Yes it is. Is it Industrial Metal, Avant-Garde or Electronic Metal? Yes! Is it Hardcore? Yes! So what is it? Well, it all of the above.

Musically, this record is heavy, doomy, and aggressive. This is most likely, by far one of the heaviest Danzig records out there. Lyrically, the themes are very dark and sex driven. It contains everything that Glenn Danzig is known for. And…sadly, many people never gave this record the chance that it deserved.  Hell, even my wife loved this record.

The song structures are complex in nature with it’s heavily drench Techno and Electronic sounds complied with influences of Noise Rock. So with regards to the song structures, where do I even begin? For starters at it’s core, this is Heavy Metal. Added in with it, you have a lot of electronic rhythms. Many of the songs are upbeat in tempo. There is melody here, even though many will not feel it. There’s the Techno side of this record as well. Then you have the Doom Rock influences with the slowed tempos and heavily distorted sounds. Added to it, the Industrial Metal influences. This record could easily stand along side Rob Zombie or Nine Inch Nails. It even has traces of some Sludge Metal in it.

Musicianship, I think is pretty damn good. Glenn vocal’s really stand out from track to track. Although, many do not care for the electronically distorted sound of his voice on several tracks. Is he using his higher range style like before? Yes, and no! But, his no distorted vocals are what makes this record great. He is what gives the music the darkness that only he can do. “Ashes” is traditional Glenn Danzig from his vocal style to the music.  Glenn also plays keyboards, bass and guitar on this record. Joey Castillo’s drum work is amazing, on the reissue “Bleed Angel” is a great example. Thrown into the mix is the programmer and keyboardist Joseph Bishara.


The 2000 reissue edition

Additional Personnel:

Jerry Cantrell – Guitars (“See All You Were”, “Come to Silver”, & “Hand of Doom”)
Mark Chaussee – Guitars (“Sacrifice”, “Serpentia”)
Josh Lazie – Bass (“Sacrifice”)

Track Listing: 1996 original version
“7th House” – 3:48
“Blackacidevil” – 4:25
“See All You Were” – 5:03
“Sacrifice” – 4:29
“Hint of Her Blood” – 5:03
“Serpentia” – 6:41
“Come to Silver” – 4:01
“Hand of Doom: version” – 2:53
“Power of Darkness” – 3:19
“Ashes” – 5:28

Track Listing: 2000 reissue version
“7th House” – 3:48
“Blackacidevil” – 4:24
“See All You Were” – 5:02
“Sacrifice” – 4:28
“Hint of Her Blood” – 5:02
“Deeper” – 4:15
“Serpentia” – 6:40
“Come to Silver” – 4:00
“Hand of Doom: version” – 2:52
“Bleedangel” – 4:13
“Power of Darkness” – 3:19
“Ashes” – 5:31
“Don’t Be Afraid” – 4:25

One Wing: The Chariot

The_Chariot_-_One_Wing.jpgRating: 80%

“One Wing” is the final album released by the Mathcore Experimental Metal band The Chariot. This album featured Josh Scogin on vocals, Brandon Henderson on lead guitar and bass, Stephen Harrison on rhythm guitar and bass, and David Kennedy on drums.

For those who don’t know what Mathcore is, it’s a rhythmically complex and dissonant style of metalcore, that makes use of unusual time signatures in it’s song structure.  It also uses more of a screaming style vocal work. Mathcore is also associated with Grindcore, which takes it’s influences from from thrash metal, death metal, hardcore punk and noise rock.

This album is all over the place. But, it does have structure to it. It is also has some melody to it, which we’ll discuss. “Your” features a church like atmosphere with the vocal work of Angela Plake and organ. “First” starts out with hardcore sound to it, but, then, it goes into a western theme outro, that makes you think of a Clint Eastwood movie.  It also features a trumpet as if you’re waiting for the final gun fight to play out.

The album itself sounds good. It does have plenty of unusual time signatures and weird tempos. the piano that one hears here and there on the record is a good touch that breaks up the hardcore portion of the music. There are also some good riffs on this album and the dropped down tuning makes the music sound even harder. The two second Hawaiian bit that introduces you to the song “And” is a nice touch. It also has some positive messages behind it, as Chariot is also known as a Christiancore. For their last album together as a band, this is a pretty good effort to say goodbye, but, then again, I’m sure they’ll emerge again. Most bands usually do.

Track listing:

1. “Forget” 2:20
2. “Not” 2:54
3. “Your”  1:08
4. “First” 3:43
5. “Love.” 3:23
6. “Speak”  2:11
7. “In” 2:13
8. “Tongues” 4:25
9. “And” 2:34
10. “Cheek.” 5:48