The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality - - Soundblab

The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality

by James Weiskittel Rating:7 Release Date:2019-02-22
The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality
The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality

When Primus main-man Les Claypool and musical free-spirit Sean Lennon teamed up back in 2016 as The Claypool Lennon Delirium, the duo instantly reset the expectations of longtime fans with their surprisingly coherent debut, Monolith Of Phobos. And now, three years and an E.P. later, the duo is back with their second full-length, the equally ambitious South Of Reality.

Written, performed, and co-produced by both Lennon and Claypool, South Of Reality is the epitome of the word collaboration. And while it feels a bit ‘on-the-nose’ to draw comparisons to artists' previous work, the 'Beatles-meets-Primus' tag that has been thrown about is a fairly apt description. Claypool’s still slapping his way through every single bassline, and Lennon’s effect’s-laden-guitarwork is fully on display, but the duo also has developed some legitimate chemistry here as well.

Continuing with the formula from their debut, Claypool and Lennon fearlessly forge ahead into the well-charted waters of psychedelic-tinged, ‘70’s-leaning prog. The album opener “Little Fishes” dutifully plods along, riding Claypool’s ever-present slaps to great effect, while the sweeping epic “Blood And Rockets” is an early album highlight (and perhaps the best song of the bunch), showcasing Lennon’s melodic sensibilities as a vocalist.

From that point forward, the album tends to lunge back and forth between Primus-esque rockers (“Easily Charmed By Fools”, “South Of Reality”), and atmospheric, mind-bending epics (“Amethyst Realm”, “Cricket Chronicles Revisited”). Far from a perfect album, the lackluster moments here (mostly sung by Claypool) are few and far between, as South Of Reality continuously feels like it’s on the verge of falling apart, but somehow never does.

While Claypool’s nasally snarl and ‘front-and-center-at-all-times’ bass are obviously the foundation of the record, it’s Lennon’s wispy, lighter than air singing that serves as the real highlight of South Of Reality. And sure, Sean Lennon’s musical talents are obviously somewhat indebted to his genetics, but the quirky singer-songwriter has done an admirable job of making his own way these past two decades (refusing to ride the coattails of his father’s legacy), a point once-again underscored with his work on South Of Reality.

Depending on your perspective, South Of Reality is either a long, strange, hazy trip to Weirdsville (which I’m pretty sure is somewhere in the Arizona desert) or an incoherent, slap-bass infused mess. But for most listeners, The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s new record is likely a maddening mix of both, which is obviously part of the duo’s charm. While it may not quite reach the heights of their debut, South Of Reality is a more than worthwhile addition to what is hopefully a growing catalog.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet