Published on April 11th, 2006 | by The Beige Baron


Primus — Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People

primus-animals_should_not_try_to_act_like_people-frontSome fans had trouble following Primus’ musical direction since drumming maestro Tim Alexander left the band in the late ’90s, replaced by the completely different jazz-influenced style of Brian Mantia. Brown (’97) and Antipop (’99) were original and technically brilliant albums (especially the drumming), but many fans mourned the loss of Alexander.

Well, he’s back for the band’s 10th studio recording – Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People, joining the eccentric and spectacularly talented Les Claypool, twice voted the most influential bass player in the world by Bass Player magazine; and genius guitarist Larry LaLonde, who says his strange modal style “sounds like angry chickens or a space robot”.

Primus is among a handful of groups that can join the likes of Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits and Pink Floyd in the ranks of the true originals. They created a genre and are the only ones in it.

Musically, Animals is a return to pre-Brian Primus, laying aside the deformed Cajun vibe they had going on Brown and Rhinoplasty (’98). It’s percussive, weird, psychedelic, mutated — a dark, swirling canvas of whites and blues and blacks. Les is still spinning strange stories. Tim has only gotten better and Larry more atonal and schizophrenic, if that’s possible.

The Aussie edition is packaged with a DVD of the band’s entire catalogue of music videos plus two hours of bonus footage, from home videos to live concerts: an absolute must-have for Primus cranks. Bizarre, inventive and often hilarious, this DVD is a gigantic “fuck you” to the musical establishment and an enormous amount of fun for everyone else.

Hardcore fans will buy this EP/DVD regardless of what reviews it attracts. But given a chance, this inspired work will blow the minds of people who missed the Primus spaceship first time around. These guys are visionaries and a burst of red hot blood into the withered heart of an industry dominated by bland, boring pop.

As Adam Gates puts it: “Primus are grey alien seedlings placed here to speed up our evolutionary process.”

And they did it all without selling out.

— The Beige Baron

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Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

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