Title - ‘Primus & The Chocolate Factory’ (ATO Records)
Artist - Primus
With the definitive Primus line-up back together, together with The Fungi Ensemble, Primus & The Chocolate Factory has just been released by ATO Records. Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde (guitarist) and drummer Tim Alexander promised to combine the Frog Brigade and Primus and bring us something that pays homage to the original ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’ movie (1971); whilst at the same time erases the memory of the recent Tim Burton remake!
Still with me thus far? OK, then let’s continue, shall we. For those that don't know, Primus are an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, and originally formed in 1984 with Claypool and guitarist Todd Huth, later joined by Jay Lane, though the latter two departed the band at the end of 1988.
In 2003, Claypool and LaLonde reunited with Alexander and released a DVD/EP, Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, before touring sporadically through 2009. In 2010, Lane rejoined Primus, replacing Alexander, and the band released their eighth album, Green Naugahyde, in 2011. In 2013, Lane left the band to focus on other projects, and Tim Alexander rejoined once again.
With the 1971 film having been highly influential to Claypool growing up, and thusly infiltrating and affecting his musical upbringing, they have taken the songs from that original film and, well, twisted them up a bit! So, with Claypool now the ringleader supreme, or Willy Wonka, if you wish, he took the band into the studio and with “no earthy way of knowing, which direction we were going,” soon brought Primus & The Chocolate Factory to the fore.
Dedicated to the “wondrous talent of Gene Wilder,” this highly inventive album is Primus’ version of a classic, sure, but not done note for note, of that be sure. They have utilized the classic elements of the original music, but have tried to reflect on some of the darker undertones of the Roald Dahl books instead. Ergo, some of these tracks are deep, down and quite noticeably menacingly eerie.
All that’s left now is to wait for the Primus & The Chocolate Factory chocolate bars to be sold in stores everywhere!
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk