Even before you push play on “Primus & The Chocolate Factory”, the mere idea of its existence should convey the sheer bat shit craziness of what is about to be unleashed. Reviewing this as a Primus album is pretty much out of the window from the start as a menagerie of xylophones, marimba’s and other wacky (wackier than standard Primus anyway) instruments are thrown into the mix.
The album follows the plot of the classic 1971 film “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” from Charlie finding the golden ticket to entering the wonder of the factory to encountering the likes of the Oompa Loompas and Wonka Vision. Now imagine that storyline with a lot more slap bass and think you’ve taken an entire vat of acid. To say this album is eccentric is to do it a disservice, it’s dangling from the ceiling whilst screaming “I’VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET!!!,” bat shit mental.
This is undoubtedly one of the most sinister sounding records you will hear all year. Assuming the band was going for that uneasy creepiness that the film has in an abundance in some scenes, such as the infamous and unexplained tunnel to hell sequence after the chocolate river and that particular in depth reading of the film were Willy Wonka is a serial killer (seriously check that out). In particular, the track ‘Cheer Up Charlie’ is one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever heard and probably won’t allow you to sleep for a good number of days.
Musically, the band are on top form, Les Claypool is as always Les Claypool and the returning Tim Alexander on drums doesn’t do a lot in terms of rhythm led drumming but when he is called for he delivers to his high usual standard.
This isn’t so much a Primus album or a musical interpretation of the classic film rather than the world of Willy Wonka brought to life before your very eyes through Les Claypool high on gin and Gatorade.