Deadliest Cuts: The Top Five Primus Songs

Primus released their first album of new material since 1999′s Antipop last month. Green Naugahyde also featured the return of drummer Jay Lane to the band. To mark this event, here are Revolver contributing writer J. Bennett’s picks for the top five Primus songs.

“To Defy the Laws of Tradition”
Album: Frizzle Fry
For the first few bars, the opening track from Primus’ 1990 studio debut sounds vaguely like one of Metallica’s early instrumentals—until Les Claypool takes it into circus land with one of his trademark slap-bass grooves. Sample Lyric: “What if Christmas didn’t come this year/And no one paid for Christmas cheer?/Who would cry the biggest tear/The child or the store?”

“Jerry Was a Race Car Driver”
Album: Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Of Primus’ many character-driven tales, this 1991 single remains one of the band’s most distinctive and heaviest songs, thanks to Claypool’s video-game-like bassline and former Possessed guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde’s demented squalls.
Sample Lyric “Jerry was a race car driver/And he drove so goddamned fast/He never did win no checkered flag/But he never did come in last.”

“Tommy the Cat”
Album: Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Primus’ unlikely collaboration with chain-smoking piano man Tom Waits (who voices the titular feline) was also featured in the 1991 movie Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Sample Lyric “She knew what she wanted/She was lookin’ for that stud bull, the he cat/And that was me.”

“My Name Is Mud”
Album: Pork Soda
Claypool pounds out an ultra-rubbery bassline and takes on the persona of a drunken, homicidal gravedigger on this classic 1993 single.
Sample Lyric “Six-foot-two and rude as hell/I got to get him in the ground before he starts to smell.”

“Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”
Album: Tales From the Punchbowl
Contrary to popular belief, this Grammy-nominated 1995 track is (unfortunately) not a reference to Winona Ryder’s nether region.
Sample Lyric “Wynona loved her big brown beaver/And she stroked him all the time.”

 

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  • Tez Skanza

    You mean, the 5 radio-played PrimuS songs…