Picks and Pans Review: Pork Soda

updated 05/24/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/24/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Primus

If the banjo-playing kid from Deliverance grew up listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he might start a band like Primus. The music is a relatively sophisticated (and very odd) blend of grunge, funk and a hint of jazz, but the bizarro lyrics and crazed vocals of Les Claypool suggest something that's crawled from a swamp.

This San Francisco-based trio creates a dark mood, thanks in large part to the unusual thump-and-grind of Claypool's bass. He plays the instrument the way jazz phenom Pat Metheny plays guitar, flailing away with uncanny expertise. Since it's a bass, though, this keeps the sound bottom heavy. And the ominous feel is only encouraged by his nasal monotone and song titles like "Hamburger Train" and "My Name is Mud," which seems to be about a killer burying his victim. Primus may not be everyone's cup of, well, pork soda, but its oddball charm can make you grunt with pleasure. (Inter-scope)

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