Sailing the Seas of Cheese

Sailing the Seas of Cheese

by Primus


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/14/1991
Label: Interscope Records
UPC: 0606949165925
catalogNumber: 91659
Rank: 18110

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Primus   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 Credits

Primus   Arranger,Producer
Snap!   Illustrations
Tim "Herb" Alexander   Sound Effects
David Luke   Engineer
Mitch Romananski   Contributor
Nacy Schartan   Engineer

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Sailing the Seas of Cheese 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.