Primus @ Mesa Amphitheatre

"The Nauga is ugly, but his vinyl hide is beautiful." At least that's what an ad campaign for the faux leather Naugahyde suggested in the '60s and '70s. This little creature can be blamed for pleather pants and some of IKEA's ugliest furniture, but that grinning, wide-toothed monster, wasn't ugly at all. That's the trickery. They got you to think he was cute, called him an "uggo" and expected you to embrace him. On their new album, Green Naugahyde, Primus mimics the appeal of the Nauga. On one hand, you have the disastrous, deconstructed tunes that the band is known for — like a machine just about to break down — but on the other hand, the band makes the sounds beautiful in their own way. Primus, as always, remains driven by the virtuosic bass playing of Les Claypool, whose barbarian-esque qualities act as the backbone to the band. It's that edginess — that combination of dread combined with hope — that gained the band a cult following over the years, as well as some commercial success with a few of their most accessible tracks. Their name is mud? Hardly. In some circles, the name "Primus" is akin to Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Zappa, and other experimental acts that managed to make ugly sound pretty.


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