During the mid-’90s peak of Primus’ appeal, frontman Les Claypool jokingly described their unique brand of funk-rock as “psychedelic polka.” He wasn’t far off. Green Naugahyde, Primus’ first studio album in 11 years, revives the trio’s rep as a spacey jam band.
But as far-out as Primus sometimes gets, theirs is a tradition with inescapable roots—Claypool’s slap-bass virtuosity and lyrical absurdity—and with its oddly familiar bass lines, Green Naugahyde offers up few surprises aside from the return of jazzier drummer Jay Lane and new murky effects on Claypool’s voice.
The album is their darkest and most socially aware yet, but it still retains that classic Primus quirkiness. Primus have always been an acquired taste, so for those of you who passed on their prior concoctions, this definitely won’t whet any new appetites.
Playlist pick: “Hennepin Crawler,” “HOINFODAMAN”
Primus play Massey Hall (178 Victoria St.) on Oct. 5.