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Primus: Rhinoplasty Primus 
Rhinoplasty
[Interscope]
Rating: 7.4
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When Primus came to Sacramento for the first date of their Brown Tour last year, I interviewed them in the basement of the Memorial Auditorium. After saying goodbye, I clamored up the stairs to find one of my pals from the school paper, looking like someone had just run over his puppy. He was supposed to interview the band as well, but hadn't confirmed it with their publicist. But he eventually chatted up Les Claypool in the intimacy of his dressing room. He emerged in an orgasmic reverie. "He didn't seem to mind how naive I am!" he gushed. I wanted to smack his dumb ass. After the show we spent half an hour hunting high and low for the car he'd misplaced. Again, I restrained myself. But Primus' colossal set, which nearly dislodged the plaster from the auditorium's ceiling, made up for everything.

While Brian "Brain" Mantia's heavy- hitting drums were the focus of The Brown Album, Rhinoplasty marks a return to the vintage Primus sound, with Claypool's bass front and center, where it belongs. Who but Claypool and Co. could pour Peter Gabriel, XTC and Metallica songs through a filter of Technicolor psychosis and pull them off with such panache? The band's version of "Making Plans For Nigel" is legendary, but their take on "Scissor Man" is more deranged than Andy Partridge on a bad day. With all this plus a nine- minute- long live performance of "Tommy the Cat", it's pretty safe to say that Rhinoplasty wins by a nose.

-Susan Moll

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