Kinda odd that people dislike this production. I have audiophile tendencies, and this sounds very full despite the approach Les took with it. It sounds like a larger-than-life rehearsal studio recording set up, and I honestly find it very charming. Every instrument has good room within the mix, and the drums have a peculiar, yet very large sound to them for it. If Les was truly going for a 4 track garage band sound on this, he may have mastered it. This sounds absolutely incredible compared to, say, '80s death metal demos.
@Quil420 I completely disagree. On this record, I feel like I'm in the room with Brain watching him drum. The hard hits sound fucking HARD, the ghost notes sound like ghost notes, and everything in between has dynamics. This is what it sounds like to be standing right next to a drummer in a rehearsal studio, and that's why I absolutely fucking love the production of this album. It sounds REAL, not over produced, not overmastered, not over anything. It sounds real. That and I love Les' bass tone on this album, really huge and warm tube tone. And Ler, well come on he has some of his best guitar work on this album. All in all, it's not the most accessible of Primus' catalog, but it's definitely one of their finest moments in my opinion.
I get "stripped down" and "lo fi", but he sounds like he's playing drums in a different room, down a distant hallway, with a blanket over the door and woolen mittens over his sticks. The cymbal work is inaudible. Ask any drummer - the sound of the drum is not just the whack of the stick on the head, but the way the batter head reverberates with the resonant head, as well as the timbre and pitch, and the way it resonates with the tonality of the wood, etc. All of this is missing from this recording. So we are left with… a guy whacking head.
@PartySanCTG: The production value? it was recorded on a 4 track to give a garage sound, hence the name "the brown album" it just sounds dirty. I personally love it over the over produced Anti-pop, and highly polished Punchbowl.... Brown album is pure Primus. Fantastic album from start to finish.
This album is awesome. When first released I didn't like it much because it strayed from traditional Primus. But as time went on I learned to love the raw "brown" sound, best tracks; Duchess, Puddin Taine, Golden Boy and Kalamazoo.
I'm absolutely smitten with the drums on this album. I had all these wild schemes in my head, trying to figure out how the drums sound like they do ("perhaps a delayed reverb going from L to R?) and then a friend of mine told me it was recorded with one mic! These guys really do suck!
@ boardjunkie: i think the drum sound is awesome for exactly the resaons that you hate it. i'm a fan of lo-fi music to begin with, though. i appreciate a little haze in my production...so i naturally gravitate to this primus album.
most excellent piece of recording. I can imagine why primus fans don't like this album because it's so different then their metal/distortion sound but I think it's the best Primus album with the dry acoustic recording style. You can really hear the room vibe on it. ++++++
I listened to the cd twice and then gave it to a friend. I love a bit of Brain work ([artist]Praxis[/artist] Transmutation FTW) but he kept it very normal here. Maybe a few more listens I'd like it, whatever.
Great material, but the drum sound ruins it. FIrst time I've listened to it since I bought it and heard it a couple times and just couldn't take the production. This is really Brain's album since he insisted on recording it on analog tape. Not that that's a bad idea.....just like any recording medium you need to use it *wisely*. But they clearly didn't know how to get the most out of it....it sounds best on a cheap boom box. Actually it sounds like the drums were recorded on a cheap boom box! I've always wished they'd go back and re record this album (with Herb) so we can tolerate listening to it. Apt title tho....the drum sound is indeed "brown"...as in POOOOOP-EEEEEEEEEEE........
i wonder if the reason les claypool dosn't like it is because the songs are bigger than just his bass line....this has to be one of the first albums where his bass plays more than one pattern through out the whole thing..... it dosn't circle around his bass track..