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Plank-slapping goofball Les Claypool's oddball funk-rockers Primus are one of the ultimate "Marmite" bands, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers multiplied by Ween - few people will deny there's talent on display, but their refusal to take themselves remotely seriously tends to inspire either adoration or almost allergic dislike. No doubt you already know which camp you're in and are either excited or dismayed to learn that Les Claypool has put together some kind of rubbery country duo and recorded an entire double LP of twangy, stompy pseudo-country silliness.
I'm a bit of a Primus apologist myself (although even I will admit I have to be in the right mood to listen to them) but I'm not too crazy on much modern country music so am approaching this one with caution. One thing that I'm picking up on quite quickly is that it's not very country except for the occasional track such as 'The Bridge Came Tumblin' Down'...it's really more of a deconstructed, primitivist take on the existing Primus sound you're already familiar with. Lots of twangy bass slapping from Les, some slidey steel guitar work from his buddy Brian Kehoe, and of course Les hollerin' stories all over it.
I was unsure about the double LP format but there's a lot going on over these two discs, including some reinvented Primus tracks and surprising covers. Their bluegrassy take on the Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive' is just as twangy, silly and entertaining as you would hope, and just when you think their take on The Chantays' iconic surf instrumental 'Pipeline' is more straightforward than I was expecting, they burst into the chorus with booming operatic 'la la laaaa' vocals.
Genuinely quite funny. I was ready to find this album annoying, but actually it's surprisingly entertaining. If you don't like Primus you'll probably hate this too though.
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