Primus

Sailing the Seas of Cheese [CD/DVD]

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Track Listing

    Track Title

    Time

  1. Seas of Cheese :42
  2. Here Come the Bastards 2:54
  3. Sgt. Baker 4:15
  4. American Life 4:32
  5. Jerry Was a Race Car Driver 3:10
  6. Eleven 4:22
  7. Is It Luck? 3:27
  8. Grandad's Little Ditty :36
  9. Tommy the Cat 4:13
  10. Sathington Waltz 1:42
  11. These Damned Blue Collar Tweekers 5:19
  12. Fish On (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter II) 7:43
  13. Los Bastardos 2:41
  14. The Damned Blue Collar Tweekers [Live at Bass Hall, Austin, TX 11/7/12] [Li 7:56
  15. American Life [Live at Bass Hall, Austin, TX 11/7/12] [Live][*] 11:39
  16. Here Come the Bastards [Bassnectar Remix] [*] 5:18
  17. Sailing the Seas of Cheese DVD
  18. Here Come the Bastards
  19. Sgt. Baker
  20. American Life
  21. Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
  22. Eleven
  23. Is It Luck?
  24. Grandad's Little Ditty
  25. Tommy the Cat
  26. Sathington Waltz
  27. Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
  28. Fish On (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter 2)
  29. Los Bastardos

Review

The first Primus album to achieve much widespread airplay (thanks to its release on a major), and the one that broke them on MTV, Sailing the Seas of Cheese completely redefined the possibilities of the electric bass in rock music for those who'd never heard the group before. Slapping like a funk player, but strumming power chords and finger-tapping like a metal guitar hero, Les Claypool coaxed sounds from his instrument that had rarely if ever been made the focus of a rock band. Claypool's riffs were so full and dominant that they hardly needed to be doubled by guitarist Larry LaLonde (and wouldn't have had the same effect anyway), which freed him up on most songs to launch into dissonant, atonal solos that essentially functioned as texture, complementing Claypool's oddly whimsical sense of melody. The combination results in a weird atmosphere that could be transformed into something dark or eerie, but Claypool's thin, nasal voice and demented blue-collar persona place the record firmly in the realm of the cheerfully bizarre. The compositions are mostly riff-driven, fleshing out their heavy metal roots with prog rock tricks from Rush and Frank Zappa, as well as the novelty side of Zappa's sense of humor. The willful goofiness may alienate some listeners, but it can also obscure some genuinely dark humor, and it never detracts from the band's frequently stunning musicianship. Somewhat analogous to jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, Claypool hasn't inspired many direct imitators because of his tremendous feats of dexterity. But his stature as a virtuoso able to take his instrument into previously undreamed-of realms is without question. Though Sailing the Seas of Cheese tones down Primus' penchant for jamming, it's the tightest, most song-oriented representation of their jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind style. [ In 2013, a deluxe package of Sailing the Seas of Cheese was reissued with new stereo mixes by Les Claypool, three bonus tracks, and a 5.1 surround sound version of the album on DVD.] ~ Steve Huey, Rovi