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Of Whales and Woe

Les Claypool

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Album Review

By this stage of the game, you definitely know what you're in for when you plunk down your hard-earned clams for a new Les Claypool-related disc. whether it is Primus, Oysterhead, Sausage, or his solo outings. On the fifth release to be solely credited to Claypool, 2006's Of Whales and Woe, all the expected elements are in place — slippery funk bass, both conventional and unconventional percussion, and whackoid lyrics sung in a narrator-esque style. While Claypool is usually the driving force behind his projects, on Of Whales and Woe, he's thrust even more into the spotlight — very little six-string guitar is featured and when it does, it's Claypool supplying it. As a result, bass is king throughout. Anyone who doubts that Claypool is one of rock's all-time great bassists should check out his playing on such funk-heavy cuts as "One Better" and "Rumble of the Diesel," while Claypool's quirkiness is spotlighted on such tracks as "Back Off Turkey" and "Iowan Girl." Perhaps Claypool summed it up best in the accompanying album press release — "It's almost like Morphine meets old Isley Brothers with some bastardized version of Woody Guthrie." Longtime fans wouldn't have it any other way.

Biography

Born: 29 September 1963 in Richmond, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most original rock bassist to come along in the '90s was unquestionably Primus' Les Claypool. With his oddball sense of humor and funky playing, Claypool took his varied musical influences and created an invigorating and completely inventive style. The Les Claypool story begins on September 29, 1963, when he was born in Richmond, CA. As a teenager, Claypool met fellow student Kirk Hammett (yes, the Kirk Hammett of Metallica fame), who turned him on to such rock acts as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and...
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Of Whales and Woe, Les Claypool
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