Two workouts down and I still have some time to kill so I may as well do a bit of functional strength and core work while I’m here. Hey, may as well since I didn’t get much done last week either. The real bonus, however, is that I have an exciting new album that I have been saving and absolutely dying to check out and, consequentially, review for you here. How perfect is that? So without further ado, let’s just to the chase with today’s audible ass-kicking du jour, namely, Le Claypool’s new Duo de Twang album ‘Four Foot Shack’, released just two short weeks ago.
I’ll even admit it, I’ve never professed to be a huge Les Claypool fan as, largely, the whole ‘Led Zeppelin-meets-Devo’ Primus thing was simply lost me with only a few rare exceptions (eg. ‘Winona’s Big Brown Beaver’ always cracks me up, and the version available on this album is even better) . But I was a fan of the Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Oysterhead and a few other notable side projects that Les has also been a part of; shit, I even thought that the theme to ‘Robot Chicken’ was kind of catchy. But this new project together with Bryan Kehoe is right up my alley.
Mostly, the album consists of Claypool on an acoustic dobro bass while Kehoe plays an acoustic guitar, though not exclusively. Oh, and there’s a foot pedal tambourine somewhere in there to keep the beat. Besides the slight, 42-second opener ‘Four Foot Shack’, the album is entirely made up of previously recorded songs, with the duo playing Primus tracks and a handful of other covers from the Bee Gee’s, Alice In Chains, Jerry Reed, Johnny Horton, Tom Conners and even the Ventures. Is there no limit to Les’ versatility (or sensibility for that matter)? Anyway, each tune here has been completely stripped down, reworked and, well, ‘twangified’ as you might expect from “two dudes playing out on the back porch”, as Claypool himself likens it. Whatever, it works.
To summarize, it was awesome…like, really, REALLY awesome. Awesome as fuck as a matter of fact…and that’s putting it mildly. It couldn’t be any more awesome if it stimulated chocolate milk to suddenly squirt from my nipples, or if it somehow cured genital warts (not that I have any, mind you). As far as 2014 goes, this is the album to beat so far. Praise Jebus!