Primus - Pork Soda (1993), 8/10

No it's not Frizzle Fry and it's not quite Sailing the Seas of Cheese and I love that about it. It's a little darker and has a matured sound that reaches beyond their earlier work in both vision and execution. It's still weird as hell, but when you mix the weird with the dark it's kind of like bitter coffee and sweet cake: utterly delicious. Their sound on Pork Soda has clearly benefited from depth, a wider soundscape and a more masterful mix that lifts the already sinister tone to new heights. The murky rhythm section mixed with the clever and silly, yet anxious and surreal wordplay combine to create a one-of-a-kind experience that only this group of musicians and oddballs could produce. Les plays the mandolin and Larry plays banjo on two tracks for crying out loud. All this and a closer named "Hail Santa"? Again, utterly delicious. It is worth stating that there is a very specific, eccentric attitude and complexion to Pork Soda and you either buy into the experience and its whimsicality or you don’t. The more popular singles like “My Name Is Mud”, “Welcome to This World” and “DMV” may have some mass appeal, but the bulk of the record, in particular tracks such as “Pork Soda”, “Mr. Krinkle”, “The Air Is Getting Slippery” and the various ‘ditties’ require a sense of humor and an appreciation for Claypool’s screwball exposition and performance style. Regardless, it is a wholly endearing experience when enjoyed properly and, like their earlier equally impressive records, showcases the band’s virtuosity but extends beyond their reach by fully exploring their entirely individual aesthetic to its greatest extent.