Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Jan 11th, 2018

Primus: The Desaturating Seven

The Desaturating Seven
(ATO Records)

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After years of following a fun, energetic and sometimes dark formula, longtime fans of Primus know the band has entered an era of expect the unexpected. That seems like an odd statement, given that the band has made a very successful career out of mostly avoiding the mainstream.

Following their dark and kooky take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Primus returns with the concept album, The Desaturating Seven, based on Italian author, Ul De Rico’s children’s book, The Rainbow Goblins. I’ve never read the source material, but I still found the concept to be interesting and very much in line with the kind of stories Primus has entertained us with for so long. The unexpected aspect of this release is its way more King Crimson-like, progressive approach. Anyone anticipating Les Claypool’s usual flurry of bass slapping and tapping might find themselves disappointed at this more subtle and atmospheric approach. In fact, I think it’s best to think of the album’s seven tracks as a whole, especially since it tells one continuous story without a real standout track.

Older fans might not appreciate the lack of more traditional Primus moments while newer fans won’t get a complete idea of the band from this release. One thing to be happy about is the return of drummer Tim Alexander. He doesn’t exactly get to flex his drumming muscle on this release, but I imagine the band’s next time out could be more intricate after an album like this. My main issue with The Desaturating Seven is the length. This release seems way too short to not be considered an EP. I think it would be better received as an EP as opposed to a full length Primus album. Perhaps, since the source material is geared towards children, Les decided to keep it short and simple compared to the band’s usual madness. I still found it to be very entertaining and although it’s not the best representation of the Primus sound, it could be a nice introduction to them for a younger audience that isn’t quite ready to meet Mr. Krinkle. I hope Primus never stops taking chances and experimenting so I welcome releases like this. I just hope the next time around is longer and has even more meat on its bones.

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Primus: The Desaturating Seven