Les Claypool's Frog Brigade / Les Claypool

Purple Onion

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

For his first post-Primus solo studio release, Les Claypool sounds exactly like...Les Claypool. That's certainly not a surprise. He uses core members of his touring Frog Brigade, such as longtime drummer Jay Lane, guitarist Eenor, saxophonist Skerik, and percussionist Mike Dillon. It is this latter musician who provides much aid in adding depth to Claypool's slaphappy sound, infusing the songs with shimmering vibraphone counterpoints. Claypool himself is in particularly fine and playful form, with the winged monkeys-like chant at the center of "David Makalaster" and the socially conscious stoned wisdom of "Ding Dong." The music isn't nearly as edgy or angular as his work with Primus, but that's ultimately okay. Guitarist Eenor provides a slightly more accessible (though still utterly weird) guitar complement to Claypool than his Primus counterpart, Larry LaLonde. This isn't simply watered down Primus, though. Rather (unlike his work on Oysterhead's Grand Pecking Order), Claypool's arrangement skills seem to have finally matured to meet his songwriting, with things like a small string section on the Primus-referential "Barrington Hall" and Warren Haynes' trying-slightly-too-hard-to-sound-bent slide on the hillbilly stomp of "Buzzards of Green Hill." Other guests pop up elsewhere, such as drummer Fish Fisher of Fishbone ("Whamola") and bassist Lonnie Marshall of "Weapon of Choice" ("D's Diner").

blue highlight denotes track pick