Monday, February 25, 2019

The Claypool Lennon Delirium: Don't Be Afraid

For a short time in 1991, I got a kick out of Primus, the offbeat punk/funk/in-joke trio led by the interminably obnoxious Les Claypool. I particularly loved "Tommy The Cat," a song highlighted by a killer Tom Waits cameo. For an even shorter time, I thought I enjoyed Sean Lennon's attempts at making indie music, but quickly grew bored. Then, my friend sends me the video for "Blood & Rockets," a new single (!) from The Claypool Lennon Delirium, taken from their second release "South Of Reality" and suddenly I am no longer offended by Claypool's sophomoric sense of humor and no longer bored with Mr. Lennon. Quite the contrary!

"South Of Reality" is a smart, exciting, well-played, and admittedly, somewhat out of control mix of Pepper-era Beatles, Barrett-era Floyd, and all the listenable bits from your favorite psych and prog records. It has more than a few kitchen sinks, but always keeps you engaged by never forgetting to toss in a great hook or melody with everything else. I enjoyed the CLD's RSD E.P. from a few years ago where they covered Floyd, The Who, and King Crimson, but that was easy. I already knew and loved the songs and the only task was to not fuck them up and they didn't. I plan on spending a lot more time with "South Of Reality" before I go backwards to their debut. But right now, this record is killing me.

Here are two faves for your listening pleasure.


cmealha said...

I was done with Primus after "Tommy the Cat", "Jerry Was a race Car Driver" and "Sgt Baker". I was intrigued by the rhythm section which I still think is awesome but his vocals became annoying very quickly. Too one-dimensional. I've never heard a thing by Sean Lennon. These two cuts are interesting enough to download the album from Apple Music and give it a listen.

Sal Nunziato said...

That's exactly how I feel about Primus, but I find these two cuts a lot better than "interesting."

cmealha said...

OK. Very interesting? ;-)

Shriner said...

I really debated not saying anything about this (but a friend asked me if I wanted to go to the concert so I listened to some stuff on youtube so it was on my mind...)

As an (ex) bass player, I never got Claypool. IMO (again, I say, IMO), his playing was way too busy and, as such, way too distracting to get anything out of what he was trying to get across. It was just not melodic and often just seemed to be "lets shred on the bass". Vocally, he didn't bother me, but when the instrumentation is distracting, it turns me off.

The two clips you posted were...ok. Les is a bit more restrained. But the live CLD original stuff on YouTube -- I did not like. The RSD cover versions were fine (as was the live cover I've seen of "Tomorrow Never Knows"-- there wasn't a lot different there.

If you think the rest of the album is like those two songs you posted, I might check it out.

Sal Nunziato said...

I can't disagree with your take on Claypool's bass playing. As I said in the post and then agreeing with cmealha, I got off the Primus bus before I had a chance to pay my fare. I don't know about CLD live. I've only heard the covers E.P., which I liked, and this new record which I think is light years beyond anything either Les or Sean has recorded prior. But if you only think these two songs are "ok," I don't see anything else turning you around.

hpunch said...

I was surprised by how good this record is

Anonymous said...

I was hearing a song from his other band "The ghost of a saber tooth tiger" named Xanadu and enjoyed it very much. Later, I realized that it reminded me very much to Sour Milk Sea, though still good.

Off topic: reading about Mark Hollis. A complete anomaly in the music industry, Like Paddy McAloon. Guys like these made the 80's for me.


ken49 said...

I like the tracks you have up. I am a sucker for this dense pop sound throwing a lot into the mix with skill and creativity. Tying in with a previous post, this could be a new Jellyfish album but a bit heavier or maybe a new release from Roy Wood.

Michael Giltz said...

I've been looking forward to this one. I also really liked his collaboration on the album "Midnight Sun" as/with Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger. It felt like he really found a groove on that one.