In the Nineties, this Northern California trio were alternative rock's odd band out, aggro-funk punks with freak roots: the scathing chuckles of Frank Zappa, Rush's tech-metal fluency and the improvising verve of the Grateful Dead. That lineage is present and blooming on Primus' first full-length album in more than a decade, along with the machine- gun pop of Les Claypool's bass guitar. The writing is more a series of creepy pranks than a set of tunes, but Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane are a tight knottyrhythm team, and their propulsion under the comic vocals in "Tragedy's a'Comin' " and in the manic marching jam "Last Salmon Man" is no monkey business.
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