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3.82 | 22 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1995

Filed under Funk Metal


1. Professor Nutbutter’s House of Treats (7:13)
2. Mrs. Blaileen (3:20)
3. Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver (4:24)
4. Southbound Pachyderm (6:22)
5. Space Farm (1:45)
6. Year of the Parrot (5:45)
7. Hellbound 17½ (Theme From) (2:59)
8. Glass Sandwich (4:05)
9. Del Davis Tree Farm (3:23)
10. De Anza Jig (2:26)
11. On the Tweek Again (4:41)
12. Over the Electric Grapevine (6:25)
13. Captain Shiner (1:15)

Total Time: 54:05


- Les Claypool / bass, vocals, bass banjo
- Larry LaLonde / guitar, 6-string banjo
- Tim Alexander / drums

About this release

Label: Interscope Records
Release Date: May 23, 1995

Produced by Primus.
Music by Primus.
Lyrics by Claypool.
Recorded and mixed at Rancho Relaxo, 11/94-3/95.
Studio assistant: Tim "Soya" Solyan
Mastered at John Golden Mastering, Newbury Park, CA.

Design: Eric Altenburger
Original Artwork: Les and Ler / PrawnSong Designs
"Grapevine" artwork: Adam Gates
"Pachyderm" Sculpture: Lance "Link" Montoya
Toy Boat photography: Jay Blakesberg
Penguin photography: Michael Halsband

In 1996 the album was re-released as an Enhanced CD for Macintosh and Windows. As printed on the back inlay for this version, "Combining high end production values, 3-D graphics, spectacular effects and loads of insanely cool stuff, the 'Tales From The Punchbowl' Enhanced CD, played on a CD-ROM drive, sends the viewer through a surreal virtual experience that features the complete album in CD sound quality (which you can hear on a stereo CD player as well)." Players must "navigate from the helm of Captain Shiner's ferryboat through an enchanted liquid atmosphere to many strange and mysterious islands. Many experiences are to be had, all in a rose-colored waterworld filled with visuals reminiscent of Dalí and Bosch." Printed on the actual CD is a ship helm instead of the large image of Captain Shiner's face that appeared on the original, more common pressing. (from wikipedia)

Thanks to triceratopsoil, Stooge for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

With their fourth album, 'Tales from the Punchbowl', Primus have finally managed to channel all their talent into something somewhat akin to a cohesive rock album. Taking their unusual style of offbeat, alternative funk rock and applying it in a more traditional rock setting, Primus have managed to produce a record that is more accessible to the mainstream public, without having to compromise their own distinct sound.

There's no other band that embodies the term "acquired taste" better than Primus, and even on a release that features some of the bands most radio-friendly material, there's plenty of their obscure (and somewhat self-indulgent) weirdness, that doesn't follow any type of traditional songwriting trait, and features an almost monotone spoken-word dialogue.

But yet, unlike previous albums, I seem to be able to tolerate it here. The odd music, the random, yet interesting lyrics, the humour... everything here just seems to work on some artistic level or another. It's like a car crash, an ugly mess but you just can't look away.

The highlights for me are 'Professor Nutbutters House of Treats', 'Mrs Blaileen', 'Southbound Pachyderm', 'Over the Electric Grapevine', and of course, the band's biggest hit, 'Wynona's Big Brown Beaver' (which is for me, like so many others, the song that introduced me to Primus). But the album flows so smoothly that even small, comedic, filler tracks such as 'Space Farm' and 'De Anza Jag' are infectious and notable in their own right.

As interesting as it is unique, Primus truly aren't to everyone's tastes (including my own), but 'Tales from the Punchbowl' is just a straight-up good album, and serves as a great starting point if you're new to the band.

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