Pork Soda

Pork Soda is the third studio album by the American funk metal band Primus, released April 20, 1993, certified Gold in September 1993 and certified Platinum in May 1997.[2] The 2005 re-issue comes in a digipak and contains a booklet with lyrics printed to nine songs, omitting "Pork Soda" which consists of a series of unintelligible rants.

Pork Soda
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 20, 1993
RecordedWinter 1992 in San Rafael, California
LabelInterscope, Prawn Song, Restless
Primus chronology
Miscellaneous Debris
Pork Soda
Tales from the Punchbowl
Singles from Pork Soda
  1. "My Name Is Mud"
    Released: 1993
  2. "DMV"
    Released: 1993
  3. "Mr. Krinkle"
    Released: 1993

The album was performed in its entirety for the first time at the Fox Oakland Theatre on December 31, 2015.

Music and lyricsEdit

The album contains darker content than previous Primus efforts, featuring lyrics dealing with murder ("My Name Is Mud"), suicide ("Bob"), and alienation ("Nature Boy"). The band has commented that prior to recording, they had been touring for nearly two solid years and were thus in a sombre mood, although in a 2015 interview frontman Les Claypool described the era surrounding the album as "Good times, happy times. It's not like we were reflecting any personal drama or anything."[3]

Regarding the song "Wounded Knee" drummer Tim Alexander said "I needed a name. I was reading this book called Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. It was something I never really thought about before... I mean how this country came to be. We are taught to be so proud. But a lot of what we have is based on lies and deceit. They only teach you what they want you to know. I hope people will see the title and check it out. Next time you listen to 'Wounded Knee', try and put the story and the music together. The rhythm and the pulse, there is an element of it that is angry then peaceful."[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
Chicago Tribune    [6]
Christgau's Consumer Guide  [7]
Entertainment WeeklyB[1]
Q     [8]
Rolling Stone     [9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide6/10[10]

In his review for AllMusic, Steve Huey contends that Pork Soda is "one of the strangest records ever to debut in the Top Ten." He notes that the album "showcases the band's ever-increasing level of musicianship" and that "[their] ensemble interplay continues to grow in complexity and musicality", although "[the] material isn't quite as consistent as Seas of Cheese". He concludes that "the band keeps finding novel variations on their signature sound, even if they never step out of it."[5] Reviewing the album for Entertainment Weekly, Deborah Frost notes that "the band is starting to gel". She describes Pork Soda as "goofy" and "Zappa-esque", predicting that the "alternative-metal-fusion will appeal mostly to folks who like a little fizz with their lard."[1] In his review for the album, Robert Christgau calls Primus "quite possibly the strangest top-10 band ever, and good for them."[7] Tom Sinclair, for Rolling Stone, describes the album as "an amalgam of elements that have no reason to be joined together in a sane universe", noting that "the band invokes the circa '69 Mothers of Invention and Trout Mask Replica-era Captain Beefheart as often as it does George Clinton or Bootsy Collins." He concludes that "hard-core funk-metal freaks may find it all a bit diffuse, but if you think its high time surrealism entered the mosh pits of America, Pork Soda just may be your cup of meat."[9]

Indy Metal Vault writer Chris Latta wrote: "Frizzle Fry or Sailing the Seas of Cheese are better introductions to the world of Primus, but Pork Soda makes for a demented subversion once you've gotten used to the formula". Latta also wrote that it was the band's darkest and most unique album, although a couple of filler tracks kept it from being their best album.[11]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics are written by Les Claypool; all music is composed by Primus.

1."Pork Chop's Little Ditty" (instrumental)0:21
2."My Name Is Mud"4:48
3."Welcome to This World"3:40
6."The Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon (Fisherman's Chronicles, Part 3)"4:39
7."Nature Boy"5:35
8."Wounded Knee" (instrumental)2:25
9."Pork Soda"2:20
10."The Pressman"5:11
11."Mr. Krinkle"5:27
12."The Air Is Getting Slippery"2:31
13."Hamburger Train" (instrumental; beginning sample is audio of Paul Reubens from the film Nice Dreams)8:11
14."Pork Chop's Little Ditty" (instrumental)1:03
15."Hail Santa" (instrumental)1:51




  • Derek Featherstone – engineer
  • Leslie Gerard-Smith – project coordinator
  • John Golden, K-Disk – mastering
  • Manny LaCarrubba, Neil King, Kent Matchke – second engineers
  • Ron Rigler – engineer
  • Tom Whalley – A&R direction

Visual artEdit

  • Jay Blakesburg – front cover and background photography
  • Paul "Bosco" Haggard – cover layout
  • Lance "Link" Montoya – sculpture
  • Snap – airbrushing



Chart (1993–94) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[12] 54
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[13] 45
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 56
US Billboard 200[15] 7


Year Single Chart Position
1993 "My Name Is Mud" US Modern Rock Tracks 9


  1. ^ a b c Frost, Deborah (April 23, 1993). "Pork Soda". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  2. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Archived from the original on 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  3. ^ Jones, Bill (June 4, 2015). "Rank Your Records: Les Claypool Rates Primus' Albums". Vice. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Primus FAQ Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  5. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Pork Soda – Primus". AllMusic. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (May 13, 1993). "Primus: Pork Soda (Interscope)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (2000). "Primus: Pork Soda". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 9780312245603. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "Primus: Pork Soda". Q. No. 83. August 1993. p. 98.
  9. ^ a b Sinclair, Tom (June 10, 1993). "Primus: Pork Soda". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 11, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  10. ^ Norris, Chris (1995). "Primus". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 310. ISBN 9780679755746.
  11. ^ https://www.indymetalvault.com/2018/04/20/twenty-five-years-later-primus-pork-soda
  12. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Primus – Pork Soda". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Primus Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 25, 2020.