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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.

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.