December 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Primus – Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble

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Primus
Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble
ATO / Prawn Song Records
Street: 10.21
Primus = Flaming Lips’ The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs and Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon + Disney’s Splash Mountain

Who can take an overusedsoundtrack, sprinkle it with slap bass and make it something awesome? The Claypool man can! In a most appropriate and welcome tribute, the quintessential Primus lineup—Claypool, Larry “Ler” LaLonde and Tim “Herb” Alexander—reunite after nearly 20 years, accompanied by the Fungi Ensemble, to nail musically what Tim Burton failed miserably at visually: to remake the paranoia-inducing Willy Wonka. “Golden Ticket” pays homage to Sailing the Seas of Cheese, producing the fiercest, frolicking Claypool bass line since “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” with funk elements from early albums as well as the stiffer, punk bass sound from Antipop. The newly repackaged “Oompa Augustus” adds more playfulness while “I Want It Now” introduces a Middle Eastern sound with the Fungi’s added percussion driving it on. –Darcy W.

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