Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People – Primus
Interscope Records 1323
Sure did enjoy Les Claypool's musical endeavors over the past few years
with Bucket of Bernie Brains and Frog Brigade, but the idea of him reuniting
with his mates in Primus just seems so fitting, kind of like Les, Larry
LaLonde and Tim "Herb" Alexander
returning to the Mothership.
As a rhythm lover, it's especially exhilarating and highly noticeable to
hear the return of Alexander to the fold. His playing proves to be more of
effective musical foil to Claypool's hyperkinetic bass playing than any of
capable replacements. He fills in the spaces or buddies up to the heavy
Claypool throws out in a way that accentuates the tribal stomp at the band's
LaLonde displays his effective method of adding woozy riffs and fiery
leads at opportune times. Unlike a normal rhythm guitarist, he picks his
as if he "studies" the work of his bandmates and then adds his bends and
in the places where needed.
All five songs on the EP/DVD Animals Should Not Try to Act Like
show off the fruits of this union, but it's particularly noticeable on song
such as "The Last Superpower aka Rapscallion." Claypool's political screed
not go down as a classic of anti-authority rhetoric but its lyrical style
fit with his past work. But, what really gives the tune track life is midway
when LaLonde and Alexander let loose. Claypool joins in to complete the
picture. Together, it has a touch of psychedelia without losing a grip of
threesome's musical soul.
All the compliments being doled out to Alexander and LaLonde are in no
way a slap at Claypool's contributions. His input is obvious — from lyrics
work on a bizarre storytelling level as well as symbolic ventures to the
as an instrument that leads as much as it unites with the instruments of the
That's found on the opening track, the very King Crimson-influenced, "The
Carpenter and the Dainty Bride." For nearly a minute, backward tracking and
ambience raise the pulse for what's to come, and the ensuing interplay does
disappoint. One can only hope that this becomes a concert staple during
Primus' live dates.
Other numbers sounds as if they smoothly are part of the group aesthetic
while tugging and pulling the material into new directions. Above all, it
seems as if there's an enthusiastic atmosphere happening in the studio. The
final track, "My Friend Fats" gives the impression it was written
years ago, and that's not a bad thing.
The addition of a DVD that chronicles Primus' history seals that deal to
makes it worth your greenbacks. The more than three hours of goods contains
all of their music videos – too odd and bizarre by MTV standards, a number
barely received more than a cursory airing – as well as live and
Reunited and it feels so good.