All My Kin

Beanpole

Chimera Recordings, 2018

http://beanpole.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/11/2018

So sometime between the late ‘80s and late ‘90s, members of Bay Area poppers The Spent Poets and Les and Ler of Primus, along with several dozen friends, came together to record some Residents-inspired music. Legend has it that Mammoth Records, which housed Les’ record label Prawn Song in the ‘90s, was so turned off by the recordings that it dumped Prawn Song for good. Cut to twenty something years later, Sean Lennon hears the stuff and puts it out for the world to behold.nbtc__dv_250

Some stuff like “His Name Is Beanpole” sounds like warped children’s music. It definitely has that ‘90s vintage feel to it and it reminds me of vintage Primus, circa Pork Soda, my favorite era of the band’s output. Some of the stuff isn’t bad at all – very catchy, kind of loony, and high on experimentation. “Cousins” is a great song and feels like a Spent Poets outtake, very much like XTC and Squeeze with lots of melody and unique instrumentation. “Farmer Loved An Onion” is the most warped children’s song, but it’s got enough of a demented sense that kids will probably love it. It’s definitely a track that will stick in your head. Other cuts, like “Grandma” and “Embryo,” are definitely Residents-inspired: very loopy and definitely disturbed.

If this record had come out in 1994 or ‘95, it definitely would’ve found sacred kin alongside Ween and They Might Be Giants records. It’s not for the faint hearted, but it’s definitely a fun listen – particularly the first half. Adam Gates’ vocals are perfectly suited for this type of material. Unfortunately, what brings the album down is that half of the tracks are half baked instrumentals and weird jokes like “Judge Wapner” and “Monkey Boy.” If there had been more actual material to work with, this would’ve been more than just a throwaway (though I do like the instrumentation on “Monkey Boy”).

Overall, this is a fun trip to take for nostalgia’s sake or if you’re a diehard Primus fan, but otherwise, it’s nonessential.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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