music / News

Jam Central Station: Primus – The Desaturating Seven Review

October 14, 2017 | Posted by Jeff Modzelewski



A new Primus album is always cause for celebration, and there’s no way that I was going to miss out on the band’s first album of original material in 6 years. As it turns out, however, The Desaturating Seven has more in common with the band’s 2014 album re-imagining the Willy Wonka soundtrack than any of their previous releases. The album is a concept album, loosely following the story of the children’s book “The Rainbow Goblins.” Claypool and Primus took the concept and ran with it, putting together a short album that has a story, but in many ways fails to live up to what other concept albums have done in the past.

The album is brief, including only 7 tracks and no massive, epic tracks to fill the space. This leads to the album feeling overly short, clocking in at only 34 minutes, but it’s does include an interesting story and some cool music. “The Valley” serves as an introductory track to the concept of the album. “The Seven” is one of the few songs on the album that works as a standalone track, with a great bouncy riff and nice jam. This album marks Tim Alexander’s 2nd album with the band since his return prior to the “Wonka” album, and his style is a good fit to what Les and Lar do. From “The Seven” the album goes into some very spacy territory with “The Trek,” a song that vacillates between a rambling journey and a catchy chorus, with little to tie the parts together. It has a great jam and fits the story and concept, but, like many songs on the album, it isn’t a great stand alone piece. The short “The Scheme” is next, and plays off of the hooky riff from “The Trek” with a similar song and rhythm. The songs certainly fit well with one another and “The Scheme” builds off of “The Trek.”

“The Trek” flows directly into “The Dream,” another vague, lengthy piece with a lot of things going on but without anything to really draw attention to the song. “The Storm” is similar, although with a little more depth to the music. It’s long but it has peaks and valleys, and there’s a certain Pink Floyd essence flowing throughout the tune. It abruptly changes direction near the end into a fast-paced tempo, and it could have probably been split into separate songs, but that would have messed up the “seven” theme of the album. The closing tune “The Ends?” wraps up the album in a short but trippy fashion. It clearly ties back to the first track in it’s style, which is unfortunate. The album is already quite short to begin with, so I wasn’t a fan of repeating the riff from early in the album.

Overally The Desaturating Seven is an interesting album, but not one that’s makes you want to listen over and over again. The best concept albums take you on a journey. This album doesn’t really do that. It tells a story, and it has some interesting musical elements, but it doesn’t feel complete. The idea behind the album and the way it was put together was reminiscent of Pink Floyd, but without a lot of the depth that an album like Animals had. I also don’t know how this one will translate live, since really only “The Seven” makes for a good stand alone song. On the other hand, Claypool is going to do what he wants to do, and sometimes the ride isn’t going to be what you were looking for. That was the case with this one.



Electric Forest announces dates
Electric Forest will return for 2 weekends in 2018. The festival announced their dates of June 21-28 and June 28-July 1. I don’t expect a lineup for a while, but look for both The String Cheese Incident and Bassnectar to be on both weekends.

Winter Wondergrass drops lineup
Winter Wondergrass will return to Colorado in February for an excellent weekend. This year’s festival is set to include Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Elephant Revival, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Horeshoes & Handgrenades, and many others.

Daptone to release final Sharon Jones album
Daptone Records will release the final Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings record on November 17. Soul Of A Woman is the album the band was working on when Jones passed away last year.

Blues Traveler add dates
Blues Traveler added dates to their 30th anniversary tour. The tour will now extend into early 2018.

January 26 Boston, MA – House of Blues
January 27 Huntington, NY – Paramount
January 28 Ithaca, NY – State Theatre
January 30 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
January 31 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall
February 2 Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
February 3 Chicago, IL – House of Blues
February 6 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
February 7 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
February 9 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
February 10 Orlando, FL – House of Blues
February 11 Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre
February 13 Savannah, GA – The Stage on Bay
February 15 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
February 16 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
February 23 New York, NY – Irving Plaza


Hillberry Music Festival
October 12-15
Eureka Springs, AR
Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Dumpstaphunk, Dirtfoot

Suwannee Roots Revival
October 12-15
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, The Wood Brothers, Peter Rowan Dharma Blues featuring Jack Cassidy, Donna the Buffalo, Steep Canyon Rangers

Hangtown Music Festival
October 26-29
Placerville, CA
Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Dark Star Orchestra, Leftover Salmon, Turkuaz

Suwannee Hulaween
October 27-29
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL
The String Cheese Incident, Ween, Bassnectar, The Disco Biscuits, Portugal The Man, Lettuce, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Benevento/Russo Duo, Greensky Bluegrass, Kamasi Washington, TAUK, Dumpstafunk, Spafford

Dominican Holidaze
December 1-5
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Umphrey’s McGee, STS9, The Disco Biscuits, GRiZ, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, TAUK, The Motet, Lotus, Spafford

Strings & Sol
December 8-12
Now Sapphire
Puerto Morelos, MX
Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, Fruition

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds in Mexico
January 12-14
Riviera Maya, MX

Gov’t Mule’s Island Exodus
January 13-17
Jewel Paradise Cove
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Gov’t Mule, Warren Haynes, JJ Grey & Mofro

Jam in the Sand
January 18-22
Jewel Paradise Cove
Ruanaway Bay, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra, Hot Tuna, Rumpke Mountain Boys

Jam Cruise
January 17-22
Medeski, Martin, Scofield & Wood, Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Maceo Parker, Lotus, Lettuce, Gramatik, Keller Williams, The New Mastersounds, Dumpstaphunk, Turkuaz, The Main Squeeze

Gem & Jam
January 25-28
Tuscon, AZ
STS9, Greensky Bluegrass, Lettuce, Breaking Biscuits, Emancipator, Railroad Earth

Panic En La Playa
January 26-30
Riviera Maya, Mexico

Winter WonderGrass
February 21-23
Steamboat Springs, CO
Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Elephant Revival, Horseshoes & Handgrenades, Travelin’ McCoury’s, Fruition, Billy Strings

June 7-10
Manchester, TN

Electric Forest Weekend 1
June 21-24
Double JJ Ranch & Resort
Rothbury, MI

Electric Forest Weekend 1
June 28-July 1
Double JJ Ranch & Resort
Rothbury, MI


Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!