Pork Soda


Interscope, 1993


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


When I was a small child, I thought this was one of the best records I’d heard in my short time on Earth. As I’ve grown, I find that it’s not as spectacular but still ranks as one of Primus’ defining recordings.

Kicking off with the one-two punch of “Pork Chop’s Little Ditty” and the immortal “My Name Is Mud,” Primus announced to the world that their themes and sound had gotten darker since my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Sailing The Seas Of Cheese. Other songs are a bit more lighthearted, like “The Air is Getting Slippery” and “DMV,” which is one of my least favorite tracks. But the overall theme is very dark and ominous, and nowhere is that more prevalent than on “Bob,” written about a guy who hangs himself with a belt. Talk about cheery pop songs!

Each of the guys gets a chance to spread their wings a bit on this disc; guitarist Larry LaLonde shows off his stuff on “Hamburger Train,” drummer Tim Alexander stretches out on “Wounded Knee,” a great little track, and leader Les Claypool shows off his eccentricities on “Hail Santa.” Without a doubt, this was the most experimental and different type of record the band would put out.

But it wasn’t without its share of catchy tracks, like “Welcome To This World,” “Nature Boy,” and “Mr. Krinkle,” which is still one of my absolute favorites. While songs like those are great, the overall gloomy whimsy of the record has worn off over the years. Some things like “The Ol’ Diamondback Sturgeon” just never worked to begin with and the fact that the album ends with three oddball instrumentals is just frustrating these days.

Ultimately, even though “My Name Is Mud” and “Bob” were instant classics, this album is often looked at as the most experimental point in the band’s career. But there are still plenty of gems here, you just have to dig a bit deeper to find ’em.

Rating: B

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