Primus are back with their first full-length album after nearly twelve years and approximately 4,700 Les Claypool side projects. Green Naugahyde marks a return to form for the band in more way than one. Original drummer Jay Lane is back and is finally on his first Primus recording featuring original songs (no, Riddles Are Abound Tonight doesn’t count). According to Claypool, Lane was the one who wrote many of the drum parts in Primus’ early albums, and this should be of no surprise to anybody who has listened to this album. Lane’s playing is reminiscent of Tim Alexander, the man who pounded the skins on the band’s first four albums. But the similarities to their early work don’t end there. Les and Ler are back to doing what made them famous, but of course you can’t really revisit the past.
“A song like ‘Jilly's on Smack’ just wouldn't have been written in the early Nineties, because we hadn't lost a friend to heroin addiction. A song like ‘Lee Van Cleef’ which is reflective of my youth just wouldn't have been written back then.”
Yes, they are still Primus. But in the last twenty years they have learned lessons, musical and otherwise, that have helped shape their sound.