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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #24: Animals covered by Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade

The_Les_Claypool_Frog_Brigade_-_Live_Frogs_Set_2I tip my hat to Mr. Claypool and his brigade of amphibious creatures.  They could have just covered a single song off of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece (and my favorite PF record), Animals.  But Les had too much respect for the album, and to break it up, he felt would hurt the records integrity, so he just covered the whole darn thing.  And he released it as an official Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade live album to boot: Live Frogs Set 2.  So not only do you get the Claypool take on a classic album, but you get to hear it with wonderfully captured live energy as well as quality sound quality (if you ever purchased a bootleg of another band doing this kind of thing, you know how bad the audio recording can get).  I really can not speak enough of how great the sound quality of this record is, hats off to the production and recording team.

Les’ take on Animals is pretty straight forward not changing anything and staying true to the way Roger Waters composed it.  But, given that Claypool carries such a unique bass playing style as well as a peculiar voice, it would be impossible for him to replicate Animals note for note.  When compared to the original the low ends are a lot fuller and much more pronounced with many blue notes added in.  His voice also fits in perfectly with his oddball croon being a nice change of pace from Roger Waters rather pedestrian voice.  The rest of the band also does some outstanding work giving due respect to the source material.  I particularly like how saxophonist, Shriek, was able to replicate many of the sound effects heard on the original with his saxophone and Jay Lane’s excellent drumming working well with Claypool’s occasional improvised bits.

After listening to both records back to back, I have to say, I almost prefer Claypool’s rendition to the original, almost.  And while there is plenty of the Claypool personality and improved moments crammed in, I do wish he deviated from the original a bit more to give it a more Claypool-ish spin to it.  Nonetheless, it’s an excellent homage to Claypool’s favorite band and a wonderful cover that all fans of the original should listen to.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Listen to the cover after the jump:

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #65-#61

Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#65: Blue Record by Baroness

After being thoroughly impressed with Baroness’ major label debut Red Record I had high hopes for the GA boys. They have a unique prog metal sound filled with a deep haze of psychedelia and sludge and a style that was heavy as hell but never overpowering, but quite graceful. Blue Record was able to take everything that made Red Record so great and just build and improve on it. The songs are all meaningful and catchy and each one memorable. As the years go by since its release in 2009 I find myself listening to it on a pretty regular basis still with now signs of slowing up. Signs of a timeless record.

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Monday Metal Madness – Iconic Frontmen

Well, it looks like Opeth fans lean more toward the middle of their discography.  The newer stuff didn’t get much love, the old material took second place.  Thank you for voting…that was a tough one.

This week we are going to take a look at iconic frontmen.  These are the guys that made a name for themselves not only as a vocalist, but for being the guy in the front; the one that gets the crowd moving and maintains a certain level of energy throughout the show.  In some cases they may even be a bit of a recluse, but the bottom line is that when you hear the band’s name you immediately think of the frontman.  They are also the spokesperson for the band, often doing most of the interviews and other things where they get are often put in the spotlight.  Keep in mind, this poll isn’t necessarily about the music…but, the guy out front.  Which one do you like and/or respect the most?  For this post I eliminated vocalists whose band is named after them.  So, no Ozzy (solo) or Marilyn Manson, etc.

Song of the Week: El Sobrante Fortnight

Sticking with rolling completely random Songs of the Week, the wheel landed on “El Sobrante Fortnight” by Les Claypool and Holy Mackerel off of the album Highball with the Devil.  I don’t think one could really classify this as metal, but, is anything that Les Claypool and Primus do that can really fall into any one specific genre.  Seriously, Claypool has created a genre all his own, and nothing else sounds like Claypool or Primus.  Well maybe a bit of XTC and Frank Zappa, but still original enough to stand far apart from the inspirations.  Anywho, metalheads seem to greatly appreciate Primus and other Les Claypool works so enjoy this quirky little ditty.

If you can find a copy of the album it came from it is well worth picking up.  If you’re a fan of Primus you should dig the album.  I remember finding this record in a neat little record store in New Hope, PA sometime in the late 90’s and have never seen it around since then.  I wonder if they still make them?  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Album Review- Green Naugahyde- Primus

  It’s been well over ten years since Primus fans have been treated to a proper release from the oddball trio.  2011 will mark the return of Primus to the studio for their first full length album since 1999’s Antipop, and in-between the previous and now the members of Primus have been busy, especially Les Claypool.  He went on to work with various side projects such as Oysterhead(with Trey Anastasio of Phish and Stewart Copeland of The Police) and The Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, and released a number of solo albums all along with going on a few tours with Primus.  One can really tell Les was enjoying what he was doing, because it really rubs off on Green Naugahyde.

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“Tragedy’s A’Comin'” From Primus

The long awaited official taste of new material from Primus has finally arrived.  The new single is called “Tragedy’s A’Comin'” and shows the more upbeat and funky side of the oddballs.  While listening to it I couldn’t help but notice how similar it sounds to “The Ballad of Bodatious” off of Antipop and has the feel of many of the songs off The Brown Album.  That’s not to say it’s Primus ripping off Primus and it’s not a great tune, it just seems to lack that something that I was expecting to hear(that something being a sound closer to what was put forth on thier 2003 EP Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People).  It does contain a feel similar to Les Claypools solo projects, where he also worked closely with now full time Primus drummer Jay Lane, which I feel will have a large impact on the album.

In the end I really dig the song even if it wasn’t what I was expecting and look forward to hearing Green Naugahyde in September.  I’m sure it will be an album that infuses the many styles of Primus that Priums has worked up over their illustrius career.  What do all you think?

Theme Thursday – Bass Masters

Let’s not get this theme confused with fishing.  This theme is about bass players that stand out in their respective band.  This post will eventually be followed up with Guitar Masters, Drum Masters, Keyboard Masters, and Vocal Masters.  This post will also consist of bass players that are still alive, so sorry Peter Steele and Cliff Burton, R.I.P.

In many instances bass players are barely heard and barely seen.  This post is going recognize metal bass players who are not just stage figures in the background, but highly recognizable as not only outstanding bass players, but when you think of their band you immediately think of the bass playing.  As heartbreaking as it may seem, Dream Theater’s John Myung will not be profiled here or others like him.  Why?  Because all of the members of Dream Theater are outstanding musicians in their own right and contribute to the success of Dream Theater equally, as far as I am concerned.

This is about bass players who lead from the front and separate themselves from their band.  This is also my own opinion so I if you think I missed someone or I am off the  mark then by all means reply about it and let’s talk.  I am going to post what I think are charismatic bass players who made a name for themselves by standing out within their own respective bands.  When you start seeing the YouTube clips you will know what I mean.  If I forgot anyone you think should have made this list, by all means educate me.  In the interest of time I will keep this fairly short.

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