Skip to main content

Primus - The Desaturating Seven album review

San Fran’s funk metal freaks head back to their infancy

Cover art for Primus - The Desaturating Seven album

On their ninth studio outing, Les Claypool has reconvened the band’s classic line-up – guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander – for a weirdly engrossing tribute to the 1978 children’s story, The Rainbow Goblins. All of the familiar Primus elements are here: pendulous basslines, loopy melodies and cartoony vocals, not least on opening track The Valley. Yet unlike the band’s 2014 tripped-out tribute to Willy Wonka, The Desaturating Seven unfurls darker, moodiersoundscapes with mesmerising forays into psychedelic experimentalism, as heard in The Trek and The Storm. There’s an undeniable sense of both subtlety and maturity here that feel almost out of place, yet it’s in these shady nuances that one taps into the bizarro brilliance of Primus. Les Claypool and co will always be an acquired, taste but for those who appreciate creativity and ambition, The Desaturating Seven yields a sparkling trove of tricks, treasures and surprises.