Sailing the Seas of Cheeseby Primus
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.
- Release Date:
- Interscope Records
Performance CreditsPrimus Primary Artist
Tom Waits Voices
Tim "Herb" Alexander Drums,Vocals
Mike Bordin Drums
Claypool Bass,Clarinet,Guitar,Electric Bass,Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar
Brian "Brain" Mantia Drums
Matthew Winegar Guitar,Accordion
Adam Gates Bass,Vocals
Derek Greenberg Guitar
Larry LaLonde Banjo,Electric Guitar
Todd Hath Guitar
Technical CreditsPrimus Arranger,Producer
Tim "Herb" Alexander Sound Effects
David Luke Engineer
Mitch Romananski Contributor
Nacy Schartan Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This Album Is Good This Has Good Songs Like ''Jerry Was A Race Car Driver'' ''Tommy The Cat'' and ''Is It Luck?'' This Is A Good Album I Like It.
Every once in while a band comes along with one member whose talent exceeds all the others. This is unfortunate. But in Primus's case, not so much. Primus is your trademark 'garage band'--remotely known, scarcely publisized, but still very good and professional in their game. Primus is one of the bands, that if a promotional poster for a concert was posted up on some town square, people would raise brows and give air to a question mark. Quite the opposite would be said for Blink 182 or Evaneasence. Another point to make about Primus is their indescribibility. Every other day a new name is said for a genre of music, most of them having several syllables, however you cannot overall 'group' Primus. You must do it by their songs. To me, Primus's music is a lot like a sip of very sour wine. Twangy and alien at first, then finally settling into our taste buds warmly. Differentiality is a common goal among society these days [we all have to find some point to our lives] and Primus has, in every dimension, fulfilled it as no one else has. That is what I most envy about Primus: Being able to be completely detached from the predicability of most modern music, and doing and writing just whatever they feel like. Yes, it does cost them plenty fame, but if they're published, then what does it matter? I haven't even began to describe the outward aspects of this album yet. The critique concensus of this album is that it's Primus's best, but as I said, Primus albums should be judged as meticulously as possible, most not even at all. I like the jaunty riffs of 'Here Come The B***ards', the craftsmanship of 'Sgt. Baker', the storytelling quality of 'Jerry Was A Racecar Driver', the off-beatness of 'Is It Luck?', the writing of 'Tommy The Cat', the dipping, swelling beat of 'Those Blue Collar Tweekers', and the reality of 'Fish On'.