Primus are strange. Primus know this, and wish to scare us all. In fact, if Salvador Dali and Frank Zappa hooked up for a jam, Primus would be the resulting genius-tinged aural bedlam.
This can be the only conclusion after viewing their brilliant "career-retrospective" DVD / CD package, which consists of all the band's infamous videos, a separate CD with five new studio tracks, and enough extras to keep you watching until they find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Primus need to thank God that they "made it" in the days before style or image was ANY requirement in the alt.rock scene, otherwise they may never have made it past the garage they look to have been bred in. However, despite taking to the stage in pork-pie hats and farmer long-johns, Primus have managed to plod on through a career spanning three decades. And regardless of attire, the boys from The Bay who started out as an "experiment" have certainly proved their hypothesis that arty funk rock works as well as a wonderbra.
Is it just me or do Primus blatantly explain the existence of System Of A Down? Songs like Too Many Puppies have it all: avant garde vocals, crunchy riffs, phat bass, and staccato beats backing it all up. For all you trivia buffs out there, might this tune also explain where Korn got the intro for their smash hit Blind?
The next video, Jerry Was A Race Car Driver will having you screaming, "South Park!" at the top of your lungs. Yes, Les Claypool and his boys did write and perform the theme for Cartman and co, but alas it is one song that is painfully omitted.
Narrowly beating Celine Dion with arms outstretched upon the Titanic, the Peter Gabriel-esque video for John The Fisherman surely takes the award for "best video ever filmed on a boat".
For a group of laid-back guys who couldn't be less "rock star" if they tried, it is in videos like Mr Krinkle where the members of Primus come into their own. Featuring a fixed camera throughout, and no less than 100 extras, the clip defines Primus' belief that "there shall be no limits to our imagination." Men on fire, contortionists, and a pig playing double bass all get a look in on what is a truly Utopian circus experience.
The simply brilliant Wynona's Big Brown Beaver is also breathtaking, with more surreal behaviour and twisted frivolity, as is the inspired animation accompanying Primus' reworking of the classic bluegrass number, The Devil Went Down To Georgia.
However varied the videos are, the DVD really shines with the shed-load of extras that are included. Encompassing early radio sessions from lost VHS tapes; bootleg first gigs; Woodstock appearances; behind the scenes "making-of" clips; Metallica's Kirk Hammett having his nose barbarically pierced; and two full-length home videos from the kings of the obscure, there truly is nothing worth knowing about Primus that is not on this disc!
So, whether you know the band's work inside out, or haven't heard any more than the South Park theme, this faultless package is an essential addition to any self-respecting music fan's collection, even if you seldom play it for fear of turning into an alter ego redneck who jumps round the front room screaming, "MY NAME IS MUD!"