Primus - Frizzle Fry (1990), 6/10

I listened to Frizzle Fry as early as eight years old and it was a recurring album in my household well into my teen years. This was primarily founded in tracks like “Mr. Knowitall” and “John the Fisherman” but the entire CD had its share of playtime. Even then, however, I could sense that the album is frontloaded when approached from a holistic listening experience. This can be said of most of Primus’ works, but it is especially true for their debut studio album. Perhaps if it were cut in half, it would be a perfect Primus album, but as it stands it is dwarfed by their next two records that host their best singles and best album experience respectively. Still, Claypool’s unique approach to bass, LaLonde’s equally creative guitar work, and Tim’s masterclass in innovation on the drumkit are impossible to ignore and are presented with peculiarly amusing energy on practically the entire first half of the album. There is no “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” or “Tommy the Cat” here, but these heights are at least approached with “John the Fisherman” which remains a fan-favorite for good reason. Still, the prowess of the band would continue for years into the future while their songwriting, pacing, and arranging skills continued to improve. Without the trance of nostalgia or mesmeric fandom, Frizzle Fry exists more as a technical feat from the trio than an impressive bout of songwriting, making it simply a good effort and an enjoyable preface to the band’s best work.