Context – cutting carrots
Man Primus is a weird band. I’m glad they’re still chugging along, because no one else really does what they do, which is refreshing and rewarding. And it’s not often that music is refreshing, with so much of it being an iteration of an iteration of an idea synthesized through another iteration of another idea.
And don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite music comes from this neo-soul-rap-revival or third-wave emo-core or whatever genre mashup you want to stick a banjo on. But that’s not really refreshing so much as chic. There’s nothing wrong with chic.
As much as I enjoyed Primus and the Chocolate Factory, it was a weird album even by Primus standards. I forgave them this, rationalizing that they were conducting towards a specific aesthetic rather than sticking to whatever counts as roots for these guys. But I missed that thumping groove. I missed those screaming guitars. I missed those tightly exploding drums.
The Desaturating Seven delivers on everything I wanted Primus to return to with the exception of the screaming guitars. The guitar work is good, top notch even, but it doesn’t scream across the sky with the eclectic fervor of a handlebar-mustachioed strong-man riding a tricycle like I’ve come accustomed to.
When your band comprises of just three members, losing an element of your music comes with a greater risk than in other contexts. This album oscillates between my undulating excitement for Les Claypool’s basslines and my bitter disappoint that the rock’n’roll seems to have largely been left by the wayside.
I put a lot of stock into titles, so maybe this was an intentional aesthetic choice. Not that I think that anything Primus does is unintentional, but maybe whatever lyrical themes Les works through are mirrored by this approach to the overall tone of the band and it’s all a rouse to work through something a bit more conceptual than Primus typically embarks on (or at least I’m unaware of any concept albums they’ve written).
Either way the most unexciting Primus is still pretty fucking stellar, and this is a good album with thick grooves. I’m going to ask for more because I’m spoiled like that, but I don’t deserve it.