Reviewing a Primus album is always a daunting task. Like a child's artwork, it seems that any music designed to inflict such joy should be immune from the critic's gaze. Let's not dwell on the weirdness of the latest release from California's funk metal trio (now reincorporating original drummer Tim Alexander) - it's a tag that they've long worn, like a pair of musty, yet loveable slippers. So hard-wired are eccentricity and originality within the group that after 2011's 'Green Naugahyde' they'd pretty much reached the edge of the map - but Primus wasn't done.
As far as musical pairings go, Primus paying tribute to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a masterstroke, first heard last New Year's Eve in Oakland (selling their own branded chocolate bars). Here, the rockers recruit a little cinematic assistance from the Fungi Ensemble: Critters Buggin percussionist Mike Dillon and Frog Brigade cellist Sam Bass.
Singer and bassist Les Claypool admits that 1971's disturbing Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, with Gene Wilder's unsettling performance, and haunting soundtrack played a key role in his own musical beginnings.