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The Brown Album

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(77 Reviews)

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If you think the Powerman 5000 hit ”When Worlds Collide” sounds an awful lot like ”Dragula” off Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe, don’t blame Powerman 5000 frontman Spider–after all, it’s in the genes. Zombie and Spider are siblings, and blood is thicker than a whole stack of Bibles. Fortunately, Powerman 5000 are much more than a blasphemous chip off the old gravestone. Sure, many of the rhythms on Tonight the Stars Revolt! are augmented by electronic samples, and the vocals are shouted over a battering-ram assault of drums, but the tunes weren’t conceived in the same decayed crypt as Zombie’s. Spider is actually more attuned to the power of melody than his big brother. His influences include new-wave bands like Blondie and the Cars (there’s even a cover of the Cars’ ”Let the Good Times Roll”), as well as alternative rockers like Helmet and Girls Against Boys. Instead of focusing on themes of horror and the supernatural as Zombie does, Powerman 5000 seek inspiration from B-grade science fiction films from the ’60s, making Tonight the Stars Revolt! more like a futuristic fun house than a genuine freak show. –Jon Wiederhorn

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  • this is my favorite primus album, and Antipop is second. It’s got the best bass, the best drums, and Golden Boy is the best song on the album

    Posted on February 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I guess it depends on your viewpoint. The way I see this album, it is a great leap for Primus. They have simplified their approach to this album, resorting to a less-than-perfect production and less flamboyant bass playing. However, this may be for the best, as the band loses some of their goofiness for a darker, more focused album. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the quirkiness of Seas of Cheese and Pork Soda. However, after 5 albums, it starts to age. This selection is a breath of fresh air for Primus. The absence of Herb is definitely noticeable, but that doesn’t discredit the skill of Brain; he is an amazing drummer as well, though in a different vein than Herb. His drumming is simpler and more rhythmic, which is a perfect fit for the grittiness and depth of this album. The influence of Tom Waits is very apparent in the music, drawing from the percussive, choppy sound of the Swordfishtrombones-era (in fact, Les says that this album is Tom Waits’ favorite Primus cut.) I would recommend this album to all music fans; even if you don’t like it, you have to admire its ambition.

    Posted on February 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This album kicks ass. I love the old stuff like Frizzle Fry and all but this album has groove. The drums are still good although its a different guy. The lyrics and song structures are awesome. Just listen to Fisticuffs, Golden Boy, or Puddin’ Taine. This album is so addicting and fun. Buy it if you liek groovy, but heavy music. bad ass

    Posted on February 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is not your older brother’s Primus album. I wouldn’t even bother reviewing this except that it appears none of the other reviewers understood this album and I can’t let it go out like that. For one thing, the new drummer, Brian Mantia, has a completely different style than Herb. He’s much more concerned with creating space than pyrotechnics and he’s much more of an ensemble player. Honestly, he just sounds better with Les than Herb did. Second, the tones of the instruments on this album are a total departure for Primus– this is low-fidelity at its finest. The drum sounds alone are worth the price of this CD. The bass sounds like it was recorded direct, and the guitar is strangely mixed (arguably LaLonde’s finest moment, by the way). This is a great album and it sounds even better on vinyl if you can find it (good luck)!

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • So, you’re sittin here readin reviews that say, “OH MY GOD, WHAT IS WITH THE DRUMS???? WHY ARE THESE SONGS SO ‘SIMPLE’??? WHY DON’T THEY MIRROR THEIR FIRST THREE ALBUMS??? Well, children, here’s the deal the The Brown Album.
    For one, if every album sounded like Frizzle Fry or Seas of Cheese we would all be bored out of our skulls. Brown album goes back to fundamentals and perfects the art of riffing like a mad-man. It almost reminds me of the countless array of Jimmy Page licks from the days of Zep… though, of course, its Claypool on a bass. Claypool and LaLonde are FANTASTIC on this album, really keeping themselves together and tight, which is not ’simple’ by any means (speaking as a musician of 12+ years)
    Secondly… the drums… are perfect. People have to understand that the album was created with everyone sounding dirty. The drums sound flat because that was the sound Primus WANTED!! The entire album was recorded in a single large room, with little to no overdubbing. This gives it a crisp, raw sound that helps with the overall tone of the album – down and dirty rock. Besides, speaking as a drummer, Brain is amazing. Him and Alexander have two completely different styles – Tim always goes for much more complicated rythms using a lot more finesse, while Brain likes accenting the upbeat, as opposed to the down beat, and hits a helluv-a-lot harder then Tim.
    And finally… here’s the deal, people. The band is exploring new grounds, and with exploration in music comes new sounds, and ANYTHING Claypool puts out will have a purpose and a distinct flare, you can be rest assured about that.
    Oh, and one last thing… only talk about things you understand. Some of the other reviewers clearly have no idea how to play any instrument, so can you really take what they have to say seriously?


    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now