Review: The Claypool Lennon Delirium- ‘Monolith of Phobos’


Bonkers. Batshit. Occasionally brilliant. That is this new album, a collaborative project from Primus’ Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, titled The Claypool Lennon Delirium. And if there is a slightly tongue-in-cheek whiff of patchouli, crushed velvet, grass, incense, and mung beans, or a sense of parody a la The Mighty Boosh, it’s all intended.Monolith of Phobos wears its influences proudly, and yet it’s forgivable, since the pair are clearly having a ball.All very cheeky.

It’s a good fit- Claypool was always a bit of a prankster, often falling just the right side of puerile. Mr Wright has Primus’ oddball fuzziness, and the gleefully silly There’s No Underwear in Space  is pretty self-explanatory.  Lennon’s solo work and projects with Cibo Matto, GOASTT, Money Mark and others always had shades of his father’s surrealism and musical elegance, so the trippy vocals (very like his father) and style pop up in the lovely Boomerang Baby.


Oxycontin Girl has the deceptive jauntiness of the Kinks and Beatles at their sharpest,weaving a narrative about a girl addicted to pill-popping , which contains a bubbly keyboard line and sad, sad lyrics.

Cricket and the Genie is split into two parts, as all good concept albums do with certain tracks. It’s immediate, splashy psychedelia, which imprints itself  in your brain when you least expect it.

While other psych acts seem anaemic by comparison, TCLD are bringing the lysergic day-glo colours, in the most unashamed ways- perfect for summer madness.They’re bound to be a scream at festivals.Delirium is right.


(Lorna Irvine)

Claypool Lennon Delirium.jpg

Sean Lennon and Les Claypool. Photos by Charlotte Kemp Muhl


Out on June 3rd, ATO Records.


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