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The Brown Album

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Album Review

The replacement of drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander with Brian "Brain" Mantia doesn't affect Primus' sound in any notable way on The Brown Album. That isn't surprising — Les Claypool's side project Sausage sounds identical to Primus. What's notable about The Brown Album is how Claypool moves Primus even further into progressive and jazz-rock territory, concentrating entirely on the instrumental interplay of the group and caring very little for writing full-fledged songs. "Shake Hands With Beef," the first single from the album, has a reasonably amusing adolescent lyric, but the real attraction of the song is how its thunderous bass riff weaves in and out with the syncopated drums and avant guitar. In that sense, it does let the listener know what the album is about, and very few Primus fans should be disappointed by what The Brown Album delivers. It's standard Primus — all instrumental interplay and adolescent humor — but it's delivered with more finesse and skill than ever.

Customer Reviews

A step backwards, and off to the side

Tim "Herb" Alexander is gone and it shows. It sounds as though half the bottom has fallen out of their sound. While there are some noteworthy songs on this album (the single, "Shake Hands with Beef" being one of them) the album in it's entirety fails. Perhaps it's the growing pains of adding a new member, or perhaps it's just the sound is getting tired after nearly ten years. Les Claypool's side project, Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel would be a wiser purchase.

Primus Sucks!

LOL this is a great Primus album not the best but pretty good I recomend Golden Boy and Kalamazoo personally get it itll do you a favor if you like primus.


Formed: 1986 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Primus is all about Les Claypool; there isn't a moment on any of their records where his bass isn't the main focal point of the music, with his vocals acting as a bizarre side-show. Which isn't to deny guitarist Larry LaLonde or drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander any credit; no drummer could weave in and around Claypool's convoluted patterns as effortlessly as Alexander, and few guitarists would willingly push the spotlight away, like LaLonde does, just to can produce a never-ending spiral of avant-noise....
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