Primus: Green Naugahyde 

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If you never "got" Primus you're excused — Les Claypool's crazed popping bass lines are not crafted for mass appeal. But longtime fans will be happy to be feasting on new material after more than a decade yearning for a return of the band's inexplicable and incomparable style. The group's last full-length release, Antipop, came out the same year Britney Spears hit the music scene with … Baby One More Time. If only Primus knew then how poignant that title would become in their ensuing 12-year album drought. As mainstream music became homogenized down to gray goo, Primus stockpiled their mayhem to raise another salutation to the odd with Green Naugahyde. While longtime drummer Tim Alexander departed after his second stint with the band, he is seamlessly replaced with original drummer Jay Lane. And any reservations about Primus losing its step with the years and a line-up change are immediately quashed with one listen of album opener "Hennepin Crawler." Claypool's hallmark vocals and slap bass pick up as though the band never broke stride after their '90s heyday, as does his ability to conjure more creative characters in song titles than some fiction writers could muster in a lifetime of longform prose. With titles like "Last Salmon Man," "Jilly's On Smack," "Lee Van Cleef," could this be anything other than a Primus album?


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