Thursday, November 17, 2011

Primus Portrays Tales Of Crustacean Class Struggle


This is Johan Ess, lead singer and lyricist for HoodooEngine, bringing you the best and newest mindstuffs floating about in the void. The new video by Primus, Tragedy's 'A Comin', gives a rather inspired take on the ravenous inequity that has been given such widespread attention lately. This type of mass obsession with the horrible condition of class issues is largely due to the #OccupyWallStreet movement going on right now, which we fully support. Anyway, back to the video. Basically, you've got their bassist/singer Les Claypool wearing a giant lobster costume on the beach in the daydream of one of the lobsters awaiting his fate in a restaurant's tank, as the privileged dine and party like there's no tomorrow. The video has an amusing climax with an astronaut riding in on a horse to devour the Claypool lobster, making me wonder if this was all just inspired by a nightmare he recently had.


Primus is no stranger to infusing class commentary into their music, with previous songs like Too Many Puppies, American Life, Welcome To This World, DMV, and of course, who could forget Those Damn Blue Collar Tweakers amongst the more obvious critical jabs of society at large. In fact, despite their reputation as a stoner's wet dream of a proggy funky slippery mud rock trio, Primus has always managed to balance their infamous alternative wackyness with a deeper set of socially conscious views. "Musically, it's upbeat," Les Claypool says, "But lyrically, the song is all about impending doom." When there's "a storm coming, the rain must fall. But to depict that would have been the cliché thing to do, so we've got lobsters."

Keeping in line with the invertebrate theme, the track Invocation from my new solo album, vltrahex, has a line that calls on listeners to "raise up your claws!" in defiance of the submission demanded by an economically obsessed society...



In much the same vein, with projects like HoodooEngine, I have always intended to convey the very palpable sense of impending doom without devolving into utter cliché. This has always been best remedied by the vigorous application of comic relief.

Whether it is referencing Grant Morrison's cancer-dimensional Archons from The Invisibles graphic series, the absurd notion of "alchemists in their fancy aether, turning their shit to gold", or the inhumanly robotic "machinations of silicon, making their way to your rear", these lyrics are designed to amuse and alter your brain chemistry...


If you like that last track, be sure to get our new album that just came out, Murder The World.