Alt-metal trio Primus has always been a band of musical pranksters, including writing the “South Park” theme song and penning the wink-wink, nudge-nudge ode to “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.” The original line-up (who haven’t recorded together since 1995) are back, and this time the threesome (plus some pals) delivers Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble (via the ATO label)—an over-the-top tribute to the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory that raises the story’s oddest undercurrents into the light.

The movie was the stuff of bedtime nightmares readymade for the Halloween season, especially the memorable scenes related to the ill-effects of greed. Primus wildly retrofits iconic childhood favorites such as “Candy Man,” “Golden Ticket” and “Pure Imagination,” and appropriately elevates the psychedelic elements of Wonka’s “Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride” and the Oompa Loompa’s anthem, with dollops of dark glee, strange humor and auditory bizarreness.

Mentioning golden tickets, apparently Primus has issued five golden vinyl LPs (all others are, obviously, chocolate brown) that will give lucky winners free tickets to Primus concerts.

To quote bad egg Veruca Salt: “I want it now!” 

Grade: A

Primus & The Chocolate Factory is currently available.