It's awfully hard to think of any band that sounds stranger than Primus, but Primus frontman Les Claypool apparently finds even Primus too constricting at times. Thus begat Les' latest solo project "Of Whales and Woe."
This disc is a lot like eating sushi with a a variety of tastes and textures, flavors and smells. Some of the dishes you want to go back for seconds on, others just may not be your thing. Certainly his music is not designed to appeal to the great unwashed masses, but to push the boundaries of what music is and what it is composed of at the nuclear level.
My best description aurally of this new release is that of an MTV deathmatch between Primus and the Mothers of Invention with the blow-by-blow commentary provided by Buck Owens of Hee-Haw and a guest appearance by Ravi Shankar. Les is flat out all over the place on this disc as usual (was that a theremin I heard?), and being un-bounded by the restrictions (?) of Primus, it gets kinda funky and kinda freaky.
Some of the tunes are annoying at best, filler at most, some of them are wonderfully bouncy and funky. "Vernon The Company Man" is a strange tale with some odd sitar work. "Iowan Gal" is a bluegrass tune that left its harmony in my head and took days to shake. The song "Nothing Ventured" sounds like a something taken from the King Crimson's Discipline song book . "Of Whales and Woe" and "Phantom Patriot" have a Mothers-esque vibe that is helped by some neat xylaphone work. "One Better" and "Rumble of the Deisel" are just flat out funky in a Parliment/Funkadelic meets Zappa kind of way. "Robot Chicken" is pure Primus and "Filipino Ray" and "Off White Guilt" have some of the wickedest bass riffs you'll ever hear.
Not for beginners, Les Claypool is definitely an aquired taste.
Rumble of the Deisel