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Sailing the Seas of Cheese

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iTunes Review

The title only hints at the perverse delight San Francisco's Primus took at slamming various pop genres up against one another, often taking as much inspiration and delight in what didn't stick as what did. Punk in its uncompromisingly angular spirit, yet undeniably progressive in its accomplished musicianship (especially that of bassist/band mainstay Les Claypool), this 1991 album primed the band to mushroom into one of the decade's most respected rock acts. If there's an over-riding spirit that informs the often strange musical and thematic obsessions on this major label debut, it's the paradoxically juvenile yet endlessly sophisticated mischief of Frank Zappa. That sensibility wafts through everything from the nautical obsessions of "Seas of Cheese" and "Fish On" to the riff-happy "Here Come the Bastards" and narrative adventures of "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Tommy the Cat."

Customer Reviews

Fed up of emo?

If you've finally got tired of emo songs, or just want something thats nothing like anything you've heard before, buy this. One or two tracks are filler but with jems like Tommy the Cat floating in this sea of cheese who cares? Tales from the Punch Bowl might be easier to get into for some people. For any bassists out there, this is how you play.

I Love Claypool

This album is one of the best I've ever heard, full of funky basslines and fist-pumping moments, fused with together with perfectly complimented bluegrass-esque licks that gives the whole album a driving energy throughout, best discovery of my 2007, no doubt.


Skaters from the early 90s will remember 'Tommy the Cat' soundtracked the legendary Plan B Questionable video - Pat Duffy on the double kinked rails blew everyone away. Not really my taste, but worth buying for the memories....


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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