August 2020 Feature Release - The Gateway Edition

First Post July 31, 2020 09:42 PM

It's now August which of course means that we'll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we're asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. Ben & I will certainly be contributing & we look forward to hearing your thoughts too.

This month's feature release for The Gateway is 1991's classic sophomore album "Sailing The Seas Of Cheese" from California funk metal legends Primus. It saw the band continuing to impress after they'd made a significant commercial impact with their 1990 debut "Frizzle Fry". Fans are often divided over which of these two releases is Primus' finest hour & we're looking forward to seeing what side of the fence you fall on with this one.

August 10, 2020 02:56 AM

I may have been too generous when I reviewed Frizzle Fry back in April. I found the record to be tolerable, but pretty boring. And so when I reviewed this record, I was happy to hear some evolution from a production standpoint, but had to drop off considerable points from it with the songwriting. I know it's meant to be corny and wacky and doesn't take itself too seriously, but where are the hooks/grooves? Nowhere to be heard as far as I can tell.

I toss this record up in the same vein as any modern math rock record; one that tries to be fancy with all of its crazy time signature changes and oddball guitar solos, but lacking in any substance. In other words, Sailing the Seas of Cheese is the definition of a wank-fest.


August 17, 2020 08:45 PM

I was really surprised I enjoyed Frizzle Fry as much as I did, and the Primus experience might stop there because Sailing the Seas of Cheese just didn't do it for me, even though it's still an impressively wacky record. Claypool really starts to go off the deep end with this one, with the complex jams still there but not as tight or interesting as they were in Frizzle Fry. A lot of it feels like meandering shock factor, with songs having extended monologues from Les that range from a bit silly to a bit creepy at times. "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver" still remains my favorite Primus song through the thick of it all, but the other notable track "Tommy the Cat" ended up not aging that well for me. It just feels strange for the sake of being strange and it didn't really hook me into what it was trying to do. The musicianship is still top notch, if not a bit more straightforward than Frizzle Fry, and it's still certainly a one-of-a-kind product that only Primus could make thanks to its funky bass playing and use of crazy time signatures, but I fail to see the charm in it this time around. 


November 22, 2022 08:26 PM

It may have taken me a couple of years but I've finally gotten around to giving our August 2020 feature release a good few listens & I've gotta say that I've once again been impressed by Primus' musicianship, ambition & ingenuity. This is probably a little more quirky & whacky than their 1990 debut "Frizzle Fry" was & that may well be to its detriment with this particular listener however that doesn't stop me marveling at Les Claypool's ridiculous chops or Larry LaLonde's wonderful jazz fusion guitar work. It definitely isn't the sort of music that I would generally go for but its hard not to become engaged by the unstructured madness going on, especially given that it sounds so foreign compared to literally everything else I've ever heard.

In saying that, "Sailing The Seas of Cheese" definitely takes a little while to get going. The first four tracks are all pretty entertaining but I didn't really feel myself becoming fully engaged until their very familiar hit single "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" kicks into play & begins a very strong three track run. The back end of the record sees them matching that quality with the lengthy psychedelic number "Fish On" (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter II)" being my clear album highlight. As with the debut, this definitely isn't a metal record though & I really struggle to see where people can even start to see that as a possibility. I'd describe it as experimental alternative/funk rock personally but that's not important though as, despite the fact that this sophomore effort may not appeal to me quite as much as "Frizzle Fry" which is still my favourite Primus record, "Sailing the Seas of Cheese" is another damn fine example of just how enjoyable the sheer lunacy of early 90's Primus' can be.

For fans of Nuclear Rabbit, Mr. Bungle & Praxis.