Les Claypool is a man on a mission. He has converted many through his varied projects that involve rock (Oysterhead, Primus), film ( Electric Apricot : The Quest for Festeroo), and an illustrious solo career (Flying Frog Brigade, Bucket of Bernie Brains). Now comes a new album, Of Fungi and Foe, that touches on the riveting background of the musician's roots, yet heads off course gleefully onto mystical, uncharted trails.
Leading off with "Mushroom Men," a dazzling substructure of refined chaos and hyper-driven rhythmic workouts, Claypool relates the song's understated choral melody deadpan, as if to overemphasize the proportionality of the title's meaning. "Amanitas" jumps and hops to fevered electricity, corralling the listener with stop-start whimsy and powering bass amplification. On "What Would Sir George Martin Do," Claypool invites Mike Dillon on marimba and Cage Claypool on slide whistle.
Produced and engineered by Claypool, Of Fungi and Foe is the modern day equivalent of a Frank Zappa experience, and its charm lies in its humble exploration of futuristic folk and jazz-rock fusion.
Of Fungi and Foe is out now on Prawn Song Records.