Primus Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People

[Interscope; 2003]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: funk rock, metal, quirk rock
Others: Big Chief, Funkadelic, Tom Waits, Rush

Ever been overwhelmed by a guilty pleasure so powerful that your every emotional constraint is relentlessly poured out and exposed upon rediscovering it? That's the feeling I got when I listened to Primus’ new 5 songs EP Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People. Some may be ashamed of being Primus fans, but my undying gratitude to the band has been long running since the release of their first full length record Frizzle Fry, and since then, I have collected every album that they have released. But my underlying gratitude is strictly for Les Claypool’s extravagant thumping of his bass; that’s it. Beyond that, Primus has never been able to stir any positive emotion at all.

Many will agree, Les Claypool plays a devastating bass and excels at keeping a very linear instrument versatile and adaptable. I can personally credit Claypool for my recent acquisition of my own bass guitar. I’ve heard myself utter these exact words: “I’m going to play like Les some day.” So when the new EP surfaced and the reunion of the band occurred, my first instinct was to think of the bass. And five songs later, my sentiment continues to be the same. Les can’t sing worth beans, the melodies are re-hashed hooks & grabs that are evident on every Primus album released, and the album is continually unchallenging and unmemorable. But what about the bass? It’s there; and again, it surprises, excites, and fulfills my nostalgic sentiments since the first bass line heard on Frizzle Fry.

So if you are a Primus fan primarily of Les’ guitar prowess, this teaser EP should satisfy your disappointed mind state since their original break-up. Other than that, Primus has truly never gained any ground since the release of their least exposed, consistent, and surprising record, The Brown Album, the record that even Primus fans never knew was released. And Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People only emphasizes that Primus’ career has only depended on four strings and one hell of a guitar player, period.

Note to Readers: This review is based on the music of this release only. Pleased be advised that this release also includes a very lengthy DVD with a full list of added bonuses. This includes music videos and other material spawning their long career. If you are a Primus fan or not, you are sure to enjoy Primus’ weird and wacky videos and other tales from the ‘sea of cheese’.

1. The carpenter and the dainty bride
2. Pilcher's squad
3. Mary the ice cube
4. The last superpower aka Rapscallion
5. My friend Fats