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Primus: Frizzle fry

16/12/10  ||  InquisitorGeneralis

I was never much of a Primus fan beyond “Winonna’s (Daemonomania’s momma’s) big brown beaver” until I saw them during their big 2003 reunion Tour de Fromage at the historic Roseland Ballroom in NYC. The powerful combination of Jack Daniels, Jersey weed, and the band’s rejuvenated energy made me a fan for good. Funny thing is, they didn’t play that catchy beaver tune. It’s 100% retired. This is good music to do serious drugs to by the way. Random thought I know, but I figured you should know that. Moving on…

“Frizzle Fry” is Primus’ first, heaviest record and chock full of whackiness mixed with insanity. I own almost every Primus record and I listen to this almost as much as all the others combined. Does this mean that Primus primed thier pump and shot the load early? No, not at all. Songs like “Southbound pachyderm”, “My name is Mudd”, “Jerry was a racecar driver”, and “American life” are all ace. However, no Primus record (except for maybe “Sailing the Seas of Cheese”) has the quality from start to finish like “Frizzle Fry”.

Shortly after the odd live sample that starts off “To defy the laws of tradition” you get an immediate taste of what this record is all about: slightly off-tempo heavy funk/rock/metal with bass playing and sound straight from hell itself. While Les Claypool’s other projects like Oysterhead and The Flying Frog Brigade venture in the drugged out, boring world of hippie jam-bands, Primus is pretty metal and the band has a sound that is 100% unique. Mix Les’ unparalleled bass work with Larry LaLonde’s frantic soloing and Tim Alexander’s heavy, off-beat drumming and you have something pretty fucking awesome. “To defy the laws of tradition” is actually kind of weak compared to songs that come after, but it is a decent opener.

The heavier songs on here area obviously are my favorites. “The toys go winding down” is just fucken phenomenal and has a haunting, pounding groove that dominates. “Pudding time” doesn’t sound metal, but when the double bass kicks in it is hard to say it’s not. Bitch. “Spaghetti western” also rocks pretty damn hard. “Too many puppies” is a very well-hidden anti-war song. The title track is my favorite. The opening bass riff is just pure tits. “Frizzle fry” slowly builds up to a neck-breaking ending. “Mr. Know-it-all” and “Groundhog day” are the only misfires on here. I am not sure why they don’t click for me like the rest of the record. Too jammy? Too slow? Tool silly? Most of the shit on here is silly so I don’t think that is the guilty party. I even like Les’ vocals.

The thing that keeps this record out of the 9-10 score range is the production. I understand this was the band’s first record but it could sound a lot better. With a cleaner, clearer, heavier sound “Frizzle Fry” would be total global domination. Even with a less-than-stellar sound it is still pretty fucken good. I should have put this in the Class6(66) section but time is limited at Inquisition HQ so this is what you get. “Frizzle Fry” is a creative, interesting, and entertaining record that features impressive musicianship and songwriting. It’s twenty years old and I still like it more and more every time I listen.

This is pretty much a must have for fans of alternative, funky, off-the-wall metal. If you have never gave Primus a try, this is the place to start.

8,5

  • Information
  • Released: 1990
  • Label: Caroline Records
  • Website: www.Primusville.com
  • Band
  • Les Claypool: electric bass, electric fiddle bass, string bass, vocals
  • Larry LaLonde: electric guitar, acoustic guitar
  • Tim “Herb” Alexander: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. To Defy the Laws of Tradition
  • 02. Ground Hog’s Day
  • 03. Too Many Puppies
  • 04. Mr. Knowitall
  • 05. Frizzle Fry
  • 06. John the Fisherman
  • 07. You Can’t Kill Michael Malloy
  • 08. The Toys Go Winding Down
  • 09. Pudding Time
  • 10. Sathington Willoughby
  • 11. Spegetti Western
  • 12. Harold of the Rocks
  • 13. To Defy