It’s typical of Primus that they’d take a children’s book, in this case The Rainbow Goblins, and turn it into something claustrophobic, bizarre and a little terrifying.
The first studio album to feature the classic line-up of Les Claypool, Tim Alexander and Larry Lalonde since 1995’s Tales From The Punchbowl, the music here gives free rein to the trio’s tendency to expand on disciplined arrangements and go off on joyous tangents. Yet however much they revel in free-form expression, Primus never lose sight of the need to bring everything back to basics when necessary.
The storyline is about goblins who steal the colours of the rainbow, and you can feel the move towards monochrome as the music develops. The way in which LaLonde’s punctuating guitar interacts with Claypool’s squirting basslines is remarkable on tracks like The Trek and The Storm, with Alexander adding sparing fills when necessary.
The overall result is both sparse yet overflowing, in a fashion in keeping with the band’s reputation. And The End? concludes everything on a discordant note of disturbed uncertainty. Brilliantly perverse.