Primus – Green Naugahyde
After some 12 years in absentia from the studio, Primus' return is a surprisingly consistent and rewarding listen. The lyrics are as gratifyingly bizarre as they ever were, with an ever-so-slight hint of menace asserted by Les Claypool’s devilish drawl, and the background harmonies in the insidious The Eyes of the Squirrel wouldn’t sound out of place in the halls of a carnival freak show.
Actually, there’s little here that wouldn’t work in the context of some freakish nightmare concoted by celebrated hoaxer P.T. Barnum. Hennepin Crawler has the same touch of off-keel funk that made 1995's Tales from the Punchbowl so creepily involving, and Moron T.V. skulks along like a Vaudevillian villain. The only thing played relatively straight is, ironically, their typically weirdest asset: Claypool’s dizzying bass. It seems reined in from previous efforts, still unmistakeably ear-twisting in parts but now less likely to make aspiring bassists cry into their Fender Jazz copies. A pleasure to have them back. [David Bowes]