The funniest band on the H.O.R.D.E. Tour

(Aside from "Weird Kula" Shakerovic)

* special introductory paragraph!
* The Crucial Squeegie Lip
* Axis: Bold As Boognish
* The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD EXCERPTS
* God Ween Satan -- The Oneness
* The Pod
* Pure Guava
* Push Th' Little Daisies EP
* At The Cat's Cradle, 1992
* Sky Cruiser 7"
* I'm Fat 7"
* Chocolate And Cheese
* 12 Golden Country Greats
* Live In Toronto Canada
* The Mollusk
* Paintin' The Town Brown - Live '90-'98
* Craters Of The Sac
* White Pepper
* Rare, Live & Weird
* Live At Stubb's, 7/2000
* Quebec
* Caesar Demos
* All Request Live
* Live In Chicago CD
* Shinola, Vol. I
* The Friends EP
* La Cucaracha
I enjoy a good Ween cuz they makes me larf. Two young studs from the hot hills of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo in the mid-80's rechristened themselves Dean and Gene Ween and began a career of profane absurdist music by turning on the old four-track and slayg 'em down and slack 'em jack 'em. Smoking the reef and imitating everything from soul music to thrash metal to bubblegum pop to '70s guitar bombast to country/western as well as sundry genres in between, the Weens would nevertheless probably get really pissed if you compared them to "Weird Al" Yankovic, and there's a darn tooting good reason for that. See, regardless of titles like "Poop Ship Destroyer," the MUSIC isn't a joke.

Okay, it's sort of a joke, but - and I'm saying this from experience - if you really love music, it doesn't matter what the words are. Why feign feelings that aren't real? Or repeat the same sort of predictable social critique that's been dragged into the dirt for generations? In short, WHY BE GENERIC? Ween refuse. With the music, they do what they want (and they do it very well) - with the words, the same theory applies. That doesn't make them a "joke" band. It just makes them a great band that happens to be pretty funny too. So yes, they cuss and sing about ridiculous topics and make fun of horrible diseases, but they are much more than a novelty. They're one of the most consistently creative and entertaining combos of our generation. Give 'em a chance if you will. If their early material doesn't make you laugh your clothing off, their later records will blow your music-loving heart. Good singin', good playin'. You can tune a piano, but you can't tune a guitar.

The Crucial Squeegie Lip - Bird O' Pray 1986
Rating = 2

It's a good thing I wasn't hangin' loose in New Hope, Pennsylvania back in 1986 because there is a sad chance that this world would never have experienced such incredible musical journeys as The Mollusk, Quebec, GodWeenSatan=The Oneness, The Pod, White Pepper, 12 Golden Country Greats, Chocolate & Cheese or Pure Guava. Because I would have ripped Dean Ween's arms off and used them to yank Gene Ween's tongue out of his head.

If you've heard the earliest Beatles recordings, you know that even great bands have to start somewhere, and that "somewhere" is usually pretty depressing. However, never in your wildest dreams could you have imagined that the great Ween were once this unfathomably shitty. The 45-minute Crucial Squeegie Lip features 40 different tracks; TWO ARE ANY FUCKING GOOD AT ALL. Gene screams everything as loud and annoyingly as he can. Dean seems incapable of switching to a second chord mid-song: a full 12 songs consist of a single chord and screaming. 7 other tracks are jokey song intros spoken through weird guitar effects so you can't make out anything they're saying. At least 6 others are inside jokes about people they know at school. 3 are called "Boobs." Others are called "Yolk," "Oik" and "Blow It Out Your Ass." To paraphrase Roger Ebert, "I hate, hate, HATE this album!"

"Also, 'Roeper'? More like 'GROPER' if you ask the front of my pants!"

I understand what it's like to a be a young person. Hell, I was 15 once too. Not 14 certainly, but 15 shit yeah! But even at that early Antarctic age I knew better than to enjoy hearing a little kid scream over a single guitar chord as somebody beats on something 4,000 miles in the background. Remember Old Skull? This is ten times worse. Okay, maybe five times worse. (Old Skull were pretty awful) My point is that it took Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo a few years to hone their craft.

And by "hone their craft," I mean '"not play 'Hey Bulldog' wrong and then title it 'Hey Bullfrog' even though the new lyrics aren't about a bullfrog."

I'll give 'em this: (a) "You Fucked Up" is here in early form and it's already a great song, (b) the catchy chord rocker "I Drink A Lot" isn't bad either, and (c) they're already pretty funny when they actually put some thought into what they're saying/singing. Examples of (c) include:

- The politically correct introduction of "Boobs" as an anti-sexism song... ending with the unexpected commentary, "Also, we think the human body is the ugliest thing ever - and boobs are no exception."

- The uncomfortably descriptive lyric "Spongy, spongy boobs!"

- The tone-shifting lyric "I wish my heart wasn't so blue.... I wish it was red as Satan's!"

- The strange description of three-chord crap rocker "The Refrigerator That Wouldn't Close" as "a 16th-century ballad"

- The drummer shouting "I'm the drummer for Kiss!" and evidently performing a piece of physical comedy to the great whimsy of all

- "This is called 'Jello.' 'Jelly'? Who cares."

Otherwise, for god's sake skip this terrible album! It's nearly as bad as La Cucaracha!

And now, to celebrate the New Year (2K8), my New Year's Resolutions:

1. Stop lending money to gonorrhea people. They always return it covered in gonorrhea.
2. Make a mint on my hilarious "Don't Tase Me, Flo!" t-shirts (until the Vic Tayback estate issues a cease-and-desist).
3. Use 'stick-to-it-iveness' to keep to my new healthy diet.
4. Use 'ah-fuck-it-iveness' to eat nothing but pizza and bags of sugar.
5. Continue to aggressively protest the out-of-touch policies of President Reagan.
6. Stop referring to the female breast as "a wrinkly sac of hairy, smelly balls."
7. Make a loot on my uproarious "Don't Tase Me, Bro!" novelty tasers that tase people.
8. Lose 15 pounds. (20 euros)
9. Keep ignoring everyone who requests Joy Division reviews, even though they only have like 2 albums.
10. Stop shouting "TWAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?!?!" at babies being born.

Reader Comments

mark, i think this review is slightly flawed. when you review your LUMP stuff you give it high reviews for that "Rebellious, dont give a fuck attitude" or whatnot..and thats what this is too sure this is no godweensatan but it kicks the SHIT outta that piece of turd known as axis bold as boognish...WHICH YOU GAVE AN ATROCIOUS 4?!?!??!
this is at least a 6 in my book
its so ridiculous and fucks your head way more than sun ra ever could
a few songs are keepers too
and i like ALL of i drink alot!

Add your thoughts?

Axis: Bold As Boognish - 1987
Rating = 4

Perhaps Wikipedia put it best when it said, "Their easiest hell records will anarchic a pee-pirited, sing on influences as far-reaching as Syd Barrett, The Beatles, Queen, Prince, Butthole Surfers, The Residents and the lo-fi punk movement." Indeed, Axis: Bold As Boognish is one of the easiest hell Ween records, and I think anybody who hears it will agree that it anarchics a pee-pirited. And don't get me started on sing on influences!

Recorded in 1987 when the Ween principals were 16 years old, Axis: Bold As Boognish sets itself apart from most of the Ween oevre by sounding remarkably like an album recorded by 16-year-olds. The simple little chord changes and weak small-amp distortion sound of a young boy learning his craft; the cheap trebly lo-fi sound of a Radio Shack tape recorder; the screaming tuneless vocals that completely drown out any music that might be taking place -- all of these youth hallmarks are proud and present. The only Ween-ism present at this young unmolested age is an already developed fondness for stylistic variety, in parody form. Unfortunately, most of the songs are miserable.

The "highlights" - and I use that term loosely, and in reference to adding a bit of light color to the tips of your hair - include:

(A) "I'm Killing It (Kill Everything)" - A silly happy TV show-style jingle with a teenager screaming all over it
(B) "Bumblebee" - A less distorted, more laidback and swingin' demo of the GodWeenSatan track
(C) "David The Negro" - Tuff Miami Vice music with indecipherably distorted vocals
(D) "She Said She Said" - An honestly not bad at all Beatles cover, especially considering they were only 16!
(E) "Gene's Lament (Tree Love Theme)" - An actual fully-developed SONG, with singing and serious guitar arpeggios and intriguing chord changes! Very Zeppeliny and a stand-out early composition! Why this wasn't re-recorded for GodWeenSatan is a mystery. Maybe they ripped it off from somebody?

And that's it. Yes, there are 12 other songs but they range from barely passable to just AWFUL. The future geniuses of Ween or not, these guys were still high school students, and I think we've all heard enough tapes by high school students to realize exactly how pain-inducing they can be. The thing about being that young is that (a) you haven't been playing your instrument for very long, so even when you're playing the best you can, the rest of the world hears it as not very good at all, (b) you don't harbor any expectations of success, so you have no qualms with screaming all over the music and making inside jokes that nobody outside your band will get, and (c) you don't hear the recorded music as it actually sounds: you hear it the way you know it's supposed to sound - in other words, where other people hear a little kid screaming annoyingly over a couple of barely audible guitar notes, you hear your best buddy howling passionately and hilariously over a killer guitar riff you wrote. The result is inevitably going to sound like shit to everybody who did not appear on it. Believe me, I know this from experience - an experience called the Iris Daylillies that recorded five 90-minute cassettes and forced all our friends to listen to them as we congratulated ourselves on how great they were. If you play an instrument, I imagine you've been down the same route.

Here's further proof that all 16-year-olds think alike:

Ween - "On The Beach," "Emily"
Iris Daylillies - "Jello, Iced Tea and a Slab of Fried Okra"

Ween - "Aqua-Ween"
Iris Daylillies - "School's Out"

Ween - "The Iron Whore"
Iris Daylillies - "Blood For The Blood God"

Ween - "Opus 51 Fugue Trilogy In A"
Iris Daylillies - "Sidewalk To Purgatory"

Ween - "Sittin' On My Ass (Wanton Nougat)"
Iris Daylillies - "My Typing Skills Aren't Up To Par"

Ween - "Smoke In My Brain"
Iris Daylillies - "Bags O' Soot"

Ween - "Tweet Tweet"
Iris Daylillies - "Big Whoop"

Ween - "One Love For Boognish"
Iris Daylillies - N/A

So it's official. If you're 11, this might sound awesome, but you're not so forget it.

At least I assume you're not 11, if those huge jugs are any indication.

There's no way you could have carried those huge jugs of milk in from the barn if you were only 11.

Unless you balanced them on your giant fucken cock, I guess.

But that wouldn't be nice to Jimmy The Rooster; he'd probably get a headache.

Okay I admit it; I'm 11.

Add your thoughts?

The Live Brain Wedgie!/WAD EXCERPTS - Bird O' Pray 1988
Rating = 5

I'm on a Jury this week, for the first time ever, and let me tell you something -- justice is slow. I've spent about 95% more time reading my gigantic Nightmare USA book in the Jury Room than actually listening to testimony. The district attorney looks about 19 (his parents were even in the galley one morning to see him in action), and the accused crack dealer is defending himself like a genius would. Now I ain't complaining, just trying to understand - what makes a court case do the things it does? One day it objects, the next day's a witness; why can't we have it just the way it used to be? WHOO! Why can't we have it, baby?

If you were a member of Ween back in 1988, you might have noticed that you weren't very good. This "album" (and I use those quotation marks loosely) features a robust 11 songs, yet is only 20 minutes long. The guitars are loud and the songs are starting to resemble actual tunes, but the live sound is horribly muffled and Gene's still too young to be a good singer so he just screams everything.

Have you heard of that Clint Eastwood movie The Good, The Bad & The Ugly? Well, I'm now going to cleverly separate the songs on this record into the appropriate categories:

Dirty Harry - Early versions of GodWeenSatan classics "You Fucked Up" and "I Got A Weasel"; fun heavy echo dirge "Jelly"; socially satirical '69-'70 country-rocker "Hippie Smell" (whose title refers the patchouli oil worn by '60s-obsessed '80s youth)

Heartbreak Ridge - tiny but passable "The Refrigerator That Wouldn't Close"; over-cutesy "Don't Laugh (I Love You)" precursor "I Like You"; Moistboyzy driving hard rocker ruined by irritating screamy ending "I Drink A Lot"; nerdy "I Will Follow Him"-referencing "Stacey"

The First Traveling Saleslady - one chord and screaming "Nippy Wiffle," one chord and screaming "In The Node Of Golgothia"; disappointing Black Sabbath rip-off "Gladiola Heartbreaker"

At any rate, it's certainly no Smilehouse: The Tragic Remains of an Abandoned Masterpiece by Mark Prindle. But I guess we can't all have a song where all four guitar lines involve shoving a ballpoint pen under the strings and bashing away at it.

Say, while we're here on the Internet, let's talk about some serious issues that concern teens today:

Politics - It's incredible how many different views of the world there are. People see things in so many different ways. It's bizarre. Also, all politicians are liars.

Nocturnal Emissions - If you have one of these, you're soiled and the stench of failure will never go away.

Music - Never heard it. Is it blue?

There! Now I've solved all the problems that 11-year-old Americans face on a daily baseball.

Add your thoughts?

God Ween Satan = The Oneness - Twin/Tone 1990.
Rating = 9

Gobbledy-goo! One of the funniest albums in town. A double-album, actually! 26 songs and not one a loser. Produced by then-Rollins Band bassist Andrew Weiss (who later wore a Ween t-shirt on the cover of The End Of Silence), this album screams and screams at you like an annoying three-year-old, but does so in such a kooky and lovable manner that it's hard to want to discipline the record, no matter how much it probably deserves a good punch in the back.

What was so adorable about Ween at this point in their career was how they talked to each other during the songs - there is such obvious love between these two guys, as demonstrated by the sudden outburst of bitterness expressed at the end of "Nicole" by one of the boys (I can't really tell which one) as he threatens the offending girl ("How come you never called my buggy, Nicole? How come you never called him?"), or the end of "Blackjack," when they both start laughing like sarcastic assholes for a good 45 seconds or so. I don't know; maybe it's just one of them overdubbed. Who cares? It screams of solidarity, and that's exactly what America needs more of.

And what else does America need? Fuzzed-out bebop ("I Got A Weasel," "Never Squeal On The Pusher"), drunken Butthole Surfers bloop ("I'm In The Mood To Move"), nearly inaudible pot anthems ("Puffy Cloud"), Wings sissy-pop ("Marble Tulip Juicy Tree," "Don't Laugh, I Love You"), gospel punk ("Up On The Hill"), and, probably most desperately, lots and lots of obscenity ("Let Me Lick Your Pussy," "Common Bitch," "You Fucked Up"). Wild record. The noise and screaming might upset the old migraine, but if you keep your stereo at a reasonable volume level, you'll never want to leave the house again. Seriously now, these songs are so darned catchy, warped, and clever (example - what the hell kind of love song would feature the lines "Ernest Hemingway would always be there for me/But now, Ernest Hemingway is dead"?) that there's no point in whining about the pointless noise of "Bumblebee" or "Mushroom Festival In Hell" - complaints get you nowhere in life, thank you, so hush your stinkhole and dig the vibes of the funniest Ween record ever. Gosh, but you'll wish you were their friend. It sounds like they would be so much fun to hang out with. Especially if you inhale the bong joint, aww man.

And another thing - That music you hear at the beginning and end of "Birthday Boy" is Pink Floyd's "Echoes." Why is it there? Probably for no reason whatsoever. Also, let me point out that I originally awarded the 10 to THIS album, but changed it several months after The Mollusk came out because, darn it, THAT album fookin' rules and doesn't give me a headache in the process!

Reader Comments

rojanko@pacbell.net (Rob Krohn)
Great one! If the "Prindle Meter" went to 11, it would get a 12! Ween is (are?) funny and they write catchy songs -- much better songwriting than you'd expect on a "comedy" album. I like every song on this one. But I gotta disagree with Mr. LuMP; I dig the "Bumblebee". The leaf-blower solo at the end of "Don't laugh" is also a nice touch. As Gener says, "this is the shit." Buy it now. 70+ minutes of hazy fun.

jfare@execpc.com (Jason Fare)
I reluctantly bought this one 4 days ago, after reading your "10" rating of it. The reason for my hesitation was due to little amount of Ween I had heard. The only song I had ever heard was "Push The Lil Daisies." Which I thought was funny, but I didn't know if I could handle a whole album by a group that sounded like that.

Surprise, surprise. Your "10" rating couldn't be more dead on. I love this record. Every song is interesting and hilarious at the same time. They don't sound like "Push The Lil Daisies" at all on this disc. Their vocals, in my opinion, are brilliant. Two guys making music, and you would think it was 10, with 6 or 7 different lead singers. Thanks for introducing me to such a cool group. I don't often run into something I haven't heard that catches my interest immediately.

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Very impressive...I have to concur with the two gentlemen above...I don't profess to be anything other than a music fan, but this is one of the best "debut" albums I've ever heard...Hilarious, and made all the more powerful by the great musicianship (and shitty musicianship) on the songs--and the songs themselves are fantastic as well..."Black...jack...big black Betty...little Spanish Eddie..." I almost had a wreck driving down I-45 blasting this album...

Buy it.

jfierol@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
Good Lord is this album a noisy mess. Noisy metal rants ("You Fucked Up"), groovin' jazz bass lines ("Never Squeal On a Pusher"), etc, all recorded Lo-Fi and fuzzy, with lots of feedback. It's all great of course, but after listening to "Bumblebee" my tortured ear NEEDS to hear "Don't Laugh, I Love You." Really, really badly. But it's there. So this album gets a nine. Salutations to Boognish.

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
It's funny; all the indie/"emo" shemps will completely diss Ween, calling them a "joke" band, and "stupid", but their shitty navel-gazing groups like Sebadoh and Sunny Day Real Estate have about one tenth the songwriting skill that the brothers Ween do. It's that simple; the Weeners make music that's basically fun as hell to listen to. God Ween Satan is the mother of all Ween albums. It's not the best, mind you (that distinction would go to The Mollusk), but it's probably the most talked-about. And for good reason. "Don't Laugh i Love You" is hilarious and beautiful, "You Fucked Up" makes me break out in hives it's so funny and rocking, and "Never Squeal On the Pusher" is a cool jazzbo-type thingy. I have not the time nor will to describe all twenty-odd songs, so I'll leave it at this: This album rules. Thank you.


This album is the most hilarious piece of art my sense have ever feasted upon. The music(or lack of) is great! I had to order this album from the CD store, because they didn't have it in stock. I remember freeing it from its shrinkwrap prison. The simplistic cover art is absolutely brilliant. What a great way to introduce the listener to the mystical entity known as BOOGNISH. I popped this cd into the player, and was blown away by the absolute disregard of decency on the first track, and all throughout the rest of the album. You Fucked Up. Does it get any more hardcore? Yes. Bumblebee, in all of its lack of musicianship and intelligence is one of the most hard tracks, but at the same time, so beautiful. I love it! LMLYP is quite possibly the funniest thing I have heard from the brothers Ween, or the Sandler-esque rant at the end of Nan. So damn funny. Brilliance. The production is so shitty, it sounds like the tape got flushed down the fookin' toilet! But, it is so brilliant you don't notice it. Tick, I Gots A Weasel, Licking the Palm for Guava, and Marble Tulip Juicy Tree are my favorites. I love the whole damn thing though. It is truly a great album. Gene and Dean Ween. Mugicians(magical musicians--coined from the sublime album "Robbin' the Hood"). The most brilliant musicians I have ever heard. And to think, one year ago I thought Ween was a terrible band. What the hell was wrong with me?

Man, I don't think I've ever had so much fun listening to a CD! This album is friggin' great! The songs are funny, and all of them sound completely different. I love the raw production too. There are only a few stinkers on here (the dull Prince cover Let Me Lick Your Pussy and the overlong Nicole come to mind), but the rest of it is top-notch Weeness. And I dig that leaf-blower solo in Never Squeal. 10/10 from me.

Very fun debut album! Lots of variety and fucking around and it makes this album really interesting to listen to. Great production, too, on most of these songs. "You Fucked Up" is the lead off, and what a rockin' song that is! Love that screaming! The best song you could possibly play after someone dumps you, says i. "Don't Laugh (I Love You)" is one of my faves on here. What an excellent pop song! "Nicole", "Birthday Boy", "Let Me Lick Your Pussy" (a brilliant Prince parody), "Marble Tulip Juicy Tree", "Never Squeal", and "Squelch The Weasel" are all awesome songs as well, with great melodys and great instrumentation as well, joke or not. Lots of novelty songs on here as well, which are extremely unique and add more fun to the album. "Blackjack", "I'm In The Mood To Move", "Gots A Weasel", "Tick", and "Puffy Cloud" (although there's an awesome song burys under that stoned hushed singing and distant acoustic guitar) are bizarre, and funny as hell. Lots of other songs to mention, from gospel punk ("Up On The Hill"), to classic Spanish music ("El Camino"), to a bunch of noise that doesn't do much of anything but is funny anyway ("Bumblebee", "Common Bitch"), and inside jokes by the band probably ("Fat Lenny", "Waynes Pet Youngin"). I give the album a 9!

Whack! this seems to be, that they shat out, a whole lot of songs/tunes and threw them at a wall to see what sticks, what didn't stick, they chose, and of course, they all stick in the end. My mate, Sam Fishskin has the new anniversary edition. It has three extra songs, the first, Sam say's, is "Bumblebee pt 2" and its when Gener is out in the snow, with no shirt on! and Deaner won't let him in!, the second is "S.t.a.c.e.y with a brain thats kinda s.p.a.c.e.y" with a swirling guitar sound, and the third, Sam continues, is "Hippy smell" sounding like a cross between a 57yr old grunge/country/folk/rock guru from Canada and Neil Young, I tell him its also on a live album somewhere, making a total of 29 SONGS! Sam insists that some of these songs are too long and go no whereish, but I reckon, its pretty much, spot on and remind him that there's 29 SONGS! No one likes spending their hard earned wedge, clams, payola, spondulies, sheckles, Hawksbys, bread, um money, but this is worth every dam rupee, er penny.

Comment: This was originally a 10 untill I heard "The Pod" (but then I love this album so much...it still is)

My rating is, the Old man thunder (most bands would make an entire album out of its 19 seconds of bliss) of 10's or the Nan of 10's or the Marble Tulip Juicy Tree of 10's or the Common Bitch of 10's (This song forkin rules jcjh)

God Ween Satan: the Oneness, the equal of Sgt. Peppers???? Comparable to Exile on Mainstreet???? One point above Who Are You???? Three points above Velvet Underground and Nico? What the fuck is wrong with you? Those albums suck! If anything they should be grovelling in the numbers between .1 and 0! Well, i can't maintain that in good conscience, since they really should be rated as highly as they are if not higher, but this is a hell of a record.

Dillin Brackett
WTF?? GWS is the WORST Ween album. Well, not counting the 80s tapes and also it's better than Cockroach. But still.. I can't believe how much I disagree with you. And I think that the noisey tracks (Mushroom Festival, etc) are the BEST!! This is absolute madsanity. Which is a portmanteau I maded.

Add your thoughts?

The Pod - Shimmy Disc 1991.
Rating = 9

Strange sophomore effort. Not a slump by any means, but a tough record to wrap your brain around at first. Stick with it, though; you'll catch up. See, this one was recorded at home on the Ween 4-track, so it's a little more aurally opaque than the debut, plus the homeys must have been sucking some serious wacky tobacky (that's slang for marijuana, which is an illegal drug that many people buy off of the black market to use for medical reasons), 'cause this stuff is sloooooooooooooooooooow (I typed several "o"s there to give the appearance that the word itself is slow, which of course it isn't, but if the reader is taking the time to individually read each "o" as a separate letter and entity, then the word does seem to crawl by quite sluggishly).

Some of it's still funny, but humor isn't the main goal here. I suppose it's some sort of tribute to '70s guitar rock, but it's so difficult to tell, presented as it is with fake drums and pretty much no bass. Luckily, the melodies are still kickin' some serious ass, and the arrangements are quirky enough to win over anybody with the patience to sit through a collection of songs as draggy as "Laura," "Alone," and "She Fucks Me." If you're a "grasshead," the mood should fit you perfectly. If you have a history in classic rock, the self-important nonsense bombast of "Dr. Rock," "Right To The Ways And The Rules Of The World," "Captain Fantasy," and "Sketches Of Winkle" will have you laughing all the way to your bank. And if you enjoy a laughable comedy joke, you'll bust a secondary male sexual organ at the goofy Mexican fast food skit "Pollo Asado" and pukingly sugary poptones "Pork Roll Egg And Cheese" and "Oh My Dear (Falling In Love)." The Phil Collins tribute "Demon Sweat" is a winner, too.

And that love between the boys? Still here. Check out "Mononucleosis," one of the most beautiful songs they've ever written, with Gene singing such touching verses as "You're sayin' you wish that you was dead/But I sure don't wish you was dead/Better stay in your sweaty mucoused bed/Oh dude!" Because they're friends, see. And Gene doesn't want Dean to die. He wants him to get better, see. Because they're friends, see. Maybe I'm reading too much into this. But dammit!!!! It's nice to hear two fellows having this much fun together without one of them inserting his penis into the other's buttock. Not that I'm a homophobe, mind you. Hold THAT phone right where you found it, thanks!!!!!

Reader Comments

jwilson@oz.net (John Wilson)
A great way to experience this (and all Ween albums now that no one mentioned it) is to sit back and relax with a can of chemically-induced Scotch Guard. In fact, that's what Mean Ween is doing on the front cover of The Pod. He's doing Scotch Guard powered bong rips. If Scotch Guard is not accessible, nitrous oxide works pretty well too. You will meet the Almighty Boognish and lick the mind of God.

wow, haven't seen this site before, but i luovz this album! if you listen to "Molly" drunk or high you might catch yerself asking"hey, When did we put on Prince?" I heard that ol deaner and gener recorded this album when they couldn't be around anybody cuz they had mono. i had mono and the mood that this album exerts make me wanna go home and crawl into bed for about a month. my other favorite ween songs are pumpin for tha man and flies on my dick!

jfierol@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
Slooooooooow indeed. But that's what makes it special. Though this release doesn't contain Ween's best tuneage, and has the only track of theirs besides "Blackjack" that I usually skip, it's got the coolest atmosphere, which the weird production only enhances. Insular and self-referential as the lyrics sometimes are, I still get sucked into Weenland more completely by The Pod than by anything else in their catalogue. Another nine. Maybe a 9.5.

I've been listening to Ween since 1992, and all I have to say is The Pod is still by far their best album. I had it on cassette originally, and I had never really listened to it closely until one day I walked to a friend's house and smoked a bunch of weed, then walked home the long way 'round. I listened to The Pod all the way home on my headphones, and I must say that I was actually a bit frightened at first. That's always a good sign. When they made this album fame was the farthest thing from their mind. It's probably the most honest cross-section view into these Dean and Gene's brains available. If you want really well produced, clear-sounding sounding music with no evident errors - don't buy this release. If you want to hear what Ween sounds like when they're stuck alone in their apartment with a four track, a sack of weed, a few pints of beer, a can of Scotchguard and a wicked viral infection, get it. BTW, I would have rated this album a clean 10.

FREE BIRD!!!!PLAY SOME SKYNARD!!!!.....sketches of winkle keeps me laughing!!!!

This is the one I have trouble with. I don't see how people can say Pure Guava is hard to listen to and then say they like this one. To me, this is much harder to get into. The production is just so murky that I can barely listen to it. The only tracks that really stand out for me are Oh My Dear (Falling In Love), Sketches Of Winkle, and Dr. Rock (which is done MUCH better on Paintin' the Town Brown). I don't think I can give this one more than a 5/10.

shaner@iowatelecom.net (Shane Davis)
First of all,I thank my brother for buying the record.About five or four years ago,my brother moved to Portland Oregon.He bought Ween :The Pod at a local Goodwill store there.When he returned back home to Iowa a couple years later,he left the record at our mom's.I borrowed it and put the vinyl record on my old turntable,turned it up loud as I could and it fucking blew my guitar pick out of my hand!I thought the album was so cool,and made a terrible sounding copy of it on a tape by placing a Mic in front of the speakers.Two years ago I graduated High school,and went to live at my dad's for a year before I moved into my own appartment(Just like Ween I currently run the risk of being evicted!)This year,shortly before I gave my brother his record back,I asked my mom if I could use her stereo turntable to copy it.She said yes,and I rocked out.A few days after I copied the tape,I thought I would pick up an old habit(Huff'n Scotch gaurde) I got fucked up really bad and rocked out to Ween and probably irratated the neighbors.I tried hard to kick huffing and eventually got rid of the scotch gaurde and told a freind about the habit.I am clean now and still love this record,I wish I could buy a cd copy,but have not had the luck.My favorite song out of all the tunes on the pod is Pork Roll Egg and Cheese.I could hear some hints ion the record of 60's rock,some alternative and underground indie,rap,and country. You know that I am the stallion man!I live I walk I am the stallion man!

One of Weens strongest & longest, so much material here and most is very good. Song by song is a waste of time, just think of the best music you've ever heard and its all here, slightly skewed. They've tried to cover all the bases, I don't hear Prince though (Unfortunately!?) Awesome value because this ones mostly in bargin bins. Fools. I find I skip the least tracks on this. Maybe I could do without "Oh my dear" But who gives a shit, turn it up because "Sketches of winkle" is next! and I don't have a problem with the production, we're lucky Steve (I'm always right, do as I say, I suck the life blood out of the album) Albini didn't record this. O.K. it does drag slightly but overall I love every song, I want to join Ween.

Comment: Play all the time to people who think your kind of strange (This will confirm it) but not to motorhead fans.

My rating is the hit from a bong of 10's

Jcjh20@aol.com (Joe H.)
My favorite Ween album right now. There's so much material on this one and so much varying styles, either really weird ("Molly", "Moving Away"), really fuckin' rocking ("Dr Rock", "Sketches Of Winkle"), really beautiful pop songs ("Oh My Dear", "Pork Roll Egg And Cheese", "Sorry Charlie"), proggy songs that are 100x more interesting than the average prog band ("Right To The Ways And The Rules Of The World"), and really sluggishly slow tunes that are so weird and crazy sounding you have to be on sleeping pills to fall asleep to 'em ("Alone", "Laura", "She Fucks Me", the bluesy "Boing"). Just a really weird, homemade sounding record and i've never heard anything like it! Every song is great in some way and no song sounds the same. Pure Guava comes close to the weirdness, but comes across as less consistant, in my opinion. I give it a 9/10.

I think everybody who ever had a 4-track and played the guitar probably has a bunch old tapes of this kind of stuff lying around somewhere - I know I do. But what's great about Ween (especially now in hindsight) is how they can take so many styles and just master them PERFECTLY. Like how they took country, soul, prog, alternative, 70's pop, etc and made these sometimes questionable styles sound great and funny and smart. (Yeah, that's right, Ween made country music sound SMART.) And here you have the classic mileu of the stoner home recording session perfected and pushed to the absolute limit.

Around this time Sebadoh and Pavement and the whole "lo-fi" thing was happening with Lou Barlow writing stuff that sounded like outtakes from an early 70's David Crosby solo session and then Beck broke with his folk/rap act that even radio and MTV could dig, but fuck all that - The Pod is not meant for critics or the average listener. What's awesome about this album is that it doesn't sound like two kids trying to record a demo or get a record deal or even write proper songs - they're just fucking around. Even the best "actual" songs (say, "Mononucleosis" or "Sorry Charlie") wouldn't sound as cool with a full band or bigger budget because they're perfect as the stoner 4-track toss-off masterpieces that they are. This album speaks to me the way I imagine a grizzled old country singer might nod in appreciation to "Powder Blue" from the 12 Golden Country Greats album - I can dig it because I used to love recording songs on my 4-track too. But The Pod just brings the awesome sound like nothing else and now years later I still love it and have to listen to it all the way through whenever I put it on. It's Ween's White Album - i.e. their best.

Add your thoughts?

Pure Guava - Elektra 1992.
Rating = 9

Do me a favor. When your band gets signed to a major label, don't just make your first release a collection of outtakes from your last record. Okay, maybe I'm projecting, but this sure sounds like a bunch of outtakes from The Pod - but more antiseptic or something. This record sounds so fake, it's hard to believe that Elektra would agree to release it. Where the hell is the audience for crap like this? Painfully fakey drums, stupid pitch-altered vocals, hokey little dork melodies like "Touch My Tooter" and "Hey Fat Boy (Asshole)" - what the hell was Elektra thinking? Did some hotshot talent scout bring in a copy of The Pod and shout, "THIS is what the kids want! Sophomoric pothead novelty music!!!!"

Heck, it even took me quite some time to get into this album; see, unlike the previous Ween records, this is a collection of songs that all sound pretty much the same. And they all sound like they were recorded at home by a couple of glue-sniffers with a Casio keyboard. But it grew on me - especially after I heard the brilliant and confusing Chocolate And Cheese. Nevertheless, I wouldn't recommend making this your first Ween purchase. It's definitely their stupidest record, no matter how catchy little pop ditties like "Push Th' Little Daisies" and "I Saw Gener Crying In His Sleep" (another great solidarity piece - Dean feels sorry for his buggie when he sees him crying in his sleep over a girl or something) begin to seem after you've heard them a few times. If you're looking for an excuse to write Ween off as novelty, try here first. Sounds like dang little kid music half the time (except for all those blue words)! Even the guitars sound fake. But, again, it will grow on you. It's a great novelty record. And "The Stallion Pt. 3" is fantastic.

Reader Comments

erat@ix.netcom.com (Daniel Erat)
The first three albums: These are similar in style, as much as three different Ween albums (or even songs) can be. Everything sounds fresh, as if the two made sure not to practice the songs so much that they'd be sick of them by the time they were recorded. Often, it sounds like the songs are being written as they're laid down on tape, but despite this, everything stays more or less cohesive. There are still large stylistic differences between the three albums, though: God Ween Satan is a huge mixture of various styles of music, The Pod makes you feel plain miserable (in a good sort of way), and Pure Guava is lo-fi creepy pop music. While these albums definitely aren't as accessible as the later ones, there are a lot more things going on in most of the songs, and because of this, I usually find listening to them to be more rewarding.

corpsebag@hotmail.com (Michael Cory)
Maybe a great Ween release. Can you get a better guitar sound than on "Little Birdy" ?

A quick story:

A long time ago (about 3 years ago) in a shanty town by the Jersey shore, a young, recent college grad saw a hip happening band in a crappy little bar. That band's name was Ween. The young, seriously buzzed grad liked the band. They had a funny habit of announcing every song the same way, "That was (name of song) by Ween!" and had some funny, wiseass lyrics. The music itself was extremely kicking and the band had a great sound (a full, 5 member band). Even though the lead singer has a truly annoying smirk on his face that you just wanted smack, he was still pretty funny. Just not as funny as he seemed to think he was.

Anyway this fellow, rushed to his local record store the next day to see what he could find from this happening band from the night before. He bought Pure Guava. Put it into his cassette deck, and heard crappy casio keyboards, lame-ass drum machines, vocals on helium and a whole attitude of an album that seemed to say "Even though you just spent some hard earned bucks on this, we don't care cos a schmuck like you will buy anything". He tried to make it through the whole tape but he couldn't. He ended up smashing it with a hammer which only made his hangover worse. To this day he curses the mighty Ween and spends too much time e-mailing web pages thinking it will make an ounce of difference in this world.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
Sorry, Mark. I really dig Ween, but this album is a piece of shit. I was gonna agree when you said "it sounds like a bunch of outtakes from The Pod"... but then you gave it a 9! A 9! OUT OF 10!

THIS ALBUM SUCKS! The reason people who know who Ween are and dismiss them is because they think Ween sound like this. Slow-ass tempos, fake drums, druggy, smug vocals, and stupid fucking songs. "Little Birdy"? "Push th' Little Daisies"? "Flies on My Dick"? This is about as funny as Tim fucking Allen. Fuck! Of these NINETEEN songs, 10 have to be the most boring, poorly written wastes of tape I've ever heard. And it's 55 minutes long!

Mark, if you weren't so right on and clever 95% of the time, this review would cause me to lose all respect for you. But as of right now, I still trust you. Still...Pure Guava is comparable to Abbey Road? Exile on Main St.? Close to the Edge? It's superior to Highway 61 Revisted? Come on! My rating: 3/10

bpo03830@cmsu2.cmsu.edu (Handle)
when i saw this terrible review and the ignorant comments it contained, i had to laugh. why even review albums when u suck at it? Pure Guava has some of ween's best recordings on it. how can u argue that "don't get 2 close (2 my fantasy)" is not absolutely amazing (the whistling solo is my favorite part). "tender situation" is also a gem, and "the stallion pt. 3" is by far one of ween's greatest songs. go listen to some hip hop or something. ween is way to good 4 your pathetic reviews.

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
I just got this album, so my thoughts on it might be a little skewed, but after a couple listens it seems like on this album Ween were INCREDIBLY stoned, so much so that some of the material is hampered. However, there are about ten TERRIFIC songs here, including "Don't Get 2 Close", "Stallion Pt. 3" and "Tender Situation", all of which are damn beautiful rock songs. It's just that alot of the other stuff seems unfinished. Still a good Ween album, as it definitely has a "theme" (stoned to the point of discombobulation), so I'd slap a 7 or a low 8 on it at this juncture of my lifespan.

jfrancis@villagenet.com (Jon)
What are youse nuts? This is one of the most brilliant albums in the universe. Its sooo bad from your typical overhypedproduced commercial fare, thats its stunning genius. I only have this and The Pod. Haven't listened to the Pod in a dogs year and recall it had nowhere near the elan of Guava. Sort of a warm up excercise for the magnificent piece of resistance..Guava. I also didn't care for some of the more "serious" songwriting efforts that came afterwards. Hey Ween....stick to the "idiot rock." Its great. Then again, I also love the Shaggs...

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
Pretty damn silly nonsense, but fun. I wouldn't give this album a 9, more like a 7 or something because it just doesn't strike with really awesome songs like The Mollusk and Chocolate and Cheese did. I really like "little birdy" although the vocals throughout the song and other songs sounds like Gene was really tired when he singing it (he's the one that sings right?). "Tender Situation" is awesome as is "Stallion Pt.3" there are some other cool ones like "Don't Get 2 Close" and "I Saw Gener Cryin' in His Sleep" but too many of the songs are just mediocre kind of filler stuff. Sure all the songs are funny but that isn't enough when the music is at times just plain lame. Good album, fun listen but not that great.

Hey, I kind of like it. It has novelty written all over it, but it's still an interesting listen. The only track I can't listen to is Mourning Glory. Shit, I don't want to know HOW they made that. Little Birdy up to The Tough Gets Going From The Get-go is all gold, but it does get a bit patchy after that. Don't Get 2 Close 2 My Fantasy is great though. I'll give it a low 8.

johnsmit@freenet.nether.net (John Smith)
I'm drunk and listening to Pure Guava right now. This, along with God Ween Satan, and The Pod are their only good albums. When they started to get "serious," they started to suck. I'll just go down the line:
1. Little Birdy: This song's decent. They must have been doin' extra bong hits on this one, cause they sound _really_ fucked up.
2. Tender Situation - I don't know, but I like this one a lot. Most of the lyrics are just recycled from other Ween songs, but the songs great. It sounds a lot like the Pod (my favorite Ween album)
3. The Stallion pt. III - I don't like it as much a the Stallion Pt. I (although it's better than pt. II). Really catchy. Sounds like nothing else.
4. Big Jilm - Kind of funny, but musically, it just sucks.
5. Push the lil' Daisies - this is about as close as Ween ever got to a hit, which is crazy, because they have tons of songs that are much better. This song's still pretty good. Kind of grates on my nerves sometimes. Pretty, in its own way.
6. The goin gets tough from the getgo - Phat Beat, nice banter between the boys during the song. I have the feeling they made this one in about 10 minutes.
7. Reggaejunkiejew - I have a lot of memories with this song. You see, at the time this album came out, I was in high school. I had this friend who was a jewish drug dealer who wore his hair in dreadlocks, and he was over at my house. We were listening to this song when i first got the album, and he asked what this song was called, cause it was cool. I picked up the CD and said "reggaejunkiejew." He just looked at me and said 'let's smoke this joint."
8. I play it off legit - okay, nothing great.
9. Pumpin 4 the man - Super hyped up cool song.
10. Sarah - beautiful song.
11. I forget the name of this song, but it's catchy.
12. Flies on my dick - stupid.
13. I saw Gener Cryin in his Sleep - Cool song, but I like the country version on Paintin the Town Brown a hell of a lot better.
14. Touch My Tooter - Kind of funny, nice rhythm

Well, screw doing the entire album (I'm too drunk). A very cool ass album, but one that takes a long time to get into if you're not a Ween fan, or if you've only heard their commercial albums that were released after this.

grant@grantedmonds.com (Grant Edmonds)
The only Ween song I've ever heard is from this album. "Push The Little Daisies." Jesus! You know, it's fuckin' hilarious, (even though there's no real talent going on) ..I cried so much as I laughed so hard...holy son of a bitch! Gotta love it! Maybe I'd hate it if the whole album sounded like this, but this is all I've heard, so it's fuckin' classic!

When I'm soberg I'm gonnarite a relly damn good reveiw of this one.

Jcjh20@aol.com (Joe H.)
Well, i love it! Though very fucked up, it's still quite a unique album. I don't think it's their best, but it's definately the Ween album i've been pulling out the most lately because it's so weird, and makes me wonder what kind of drugs these guys have been taking during the sessions, but at the same time hilarious, catchy and just a fun album! Some of this stuff DOES sound like The Pod outtakes (like the wonderful "Tender Situation", which sounds like Gener is either really high, or trying hard to be quiet to not to wake someone up or something), but it doesn't even matter because The Pod is a great album and this just improves The Pod formula since these guys signed with a major label and everything. I especially love the songs with the sped up vocals, because it's such an effective idea that makes the songs sound so hilarious and cute or obnoxious, depending on what kind of person you are, so my favorite songs on the album are the phased, mystical "The Stallion Pt. 3" and the catchy funky groove of "Springtheme". I really do wonder who in their right mind would sign these guys by hearing The Pod, who would release obnoxious cacophony like "Mourning Glory" and "Touch My Tooter" (only 2 songs i don't like, as the former is wayyy too unlistenable, and the latter is played a lot better live) AND i also wonder how in the hell "Push Th' Little Daisies" became such an MTV hit. However, i am glad because this album is really enjoyable. I mean, anyone can make a song with a casio keyboard, drum machine and mixer but not everyone can make them so damn funny and interesting. Not the best place to start with Ween, obviously, but once you hear other Ween albums and understand what kind of dudes these are, you'll probably enjoy it too. What other band would fuck up a perfectally beautiful ballad like "Loving U Thru It All" just for the sake of fucking something up (besides the Butthole Surfers)? Or even title a song "Flies On My Dick", for that matter. Ohh, and "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)" is fucking hilarious. The acapella end part always makes me laugh. Sounds like Queen or something! I give it a 9.

Yiks, they've turned up the weirdness button, with distorted vocals, (sped up/slowed down) guitar, drum machines, tiny keyboards etc. I feel the actual songs have suffered, (still miles better than average tho) and where as "The Pod" did use these tricks, it wasn't to the same degree as this. The problem here is, there's no grunt, no bottom end, where as the superb, Big Black use drum machines to their advantage, (by somehow bringing the drums to the front of the mix and at the same time, cleverly burying them behind a wall of guitars) on this, it sounds almost as if, their just a backing track, still it could be worse, a lot worse. So I like "Mourning Glory" it has attitude. But "Push th' Little Daisies" (this one, I'm not so sure about) "Reggaejunkiejew" "Flies on My Dick" "Poop Ship Destroyer"!? What is this? (this is tiresome) "Tender Situation" (yip) "Little Birdy" (yes!) "Springtheme"(Yes Yes!) "The Stallion pt. 3" (YES!) "Don't get 2 Close" (are they real drums?) all deserve better homes than this.

Comment: Could be "The Pods" little brother (a bit annoying, sometimes you really want to slap it round) But in the right mood, (you know, tired from a big Butthole Surfers session) has some, awfully good casio keyboard fueled stuff on this.

My rating is the big house with lots of people of 8's

Here's a little tidbit that might put the oft-mentioned "crappy sound" of this album in some sort of perspective. When Pure Guava came out, I heard tell that one of the terms of their new major label deal was that each subsequent album would bear greater production values than the first. With this in mind, Ween purposely made Pure Guava as cheesy and lo-fi as possible, in order to set the bar low enough to allow them maximum leeway in the future. Interesting theory - though it was only hearsay. Anyone else hear that?

In any case, I loved the album immediately. It sounds like it was made on another planet. It was my first introduction to Ween, and I've been a passionate fan ever since. I remember the first time I heard it: my friend had made me a tape of it, and I put it on in the car while driving to a bar to see a band (come to think of it, that band was Five Eight, but that's beside the point). The first half of the album was on my mind all through the concert, and then for the drive home (after a couple of beers), "Touch My Tooter" and "Mourning Glory" came on and I knew that I had come across something very special. This was before I knew of TFUL282, so it was one of the oddest POP recordings I'd heard to that point (I already had Sonic Death and The Faust Tapes at that point, but that doesn't profess to be pop).

"Mourning Glory" still gives me goosebumps. Maybe it's the shock of the first time I heard it that still hasn't worn off. In short time, I even recorded an original composition called "Bun Prints" that was heavily inspired by that piece, using just overdubbed voices, a distortion pedal and a lot of beer. Definitely "B-side" material.

I don t have any Ween friends, and having read through all these reviews, I m glad I don t. You fans sicken me. How can you be a true Ween fan and not love each and every one of their albums to death? The 9/10 rating for this album is as low as I d accept from any proclaimed Ween fan. In my opinion, Pure Guava is an 11 out of 10, and better than anything they ve done before or since. Oddly enough, until I came to this site, I assumed most Ween fans thought the same. Wow, how gross and disappointing to be smacked like a broken down whore with your total lack of taste, people.

Pure Guava was my introduction to Ween. Like you, I thought I had made a mistake the first time I heard it, but I couldn t stop listening. I left it on repeat overnight, and the album was absorbed into my brain as I slept. When I woke up, it was locked onto my gray matter like some kind of fat, cranial leach. I knew that I had stumbled upon something completely unique and utterly brilliant. The rough edges that had repulsed me at first were still there, but underneath it all was genius of a type I had never heard before in music. No longer repulsive, those rough, ugly edges had made the album interminably intriguing.

All Ween albums are masterpieces in their own way, but none has ever struck me the same way this one has. For every time I listen to The Mollusk or Chocolate and Cheese or whatever, I listen to Pure Guava like five times. And besides, The Stallion Pt. 3 is the best song Ween has ever written. Get some taste people. Long live Pure Guava. Long live Ween.

hunt125@msn.com (Hunter)
Although initially, I thought Ween was the most stupid band ever after seeing the video for "Can't Put My Finger On It", I grew to love them after I purchased "The Mollusk" on your online recomendation. But that is really irrelevant, so I think I'll just stop here before I hurt the both of us.

For the record, I love this album, but I must say, you gave it one of the most unflattering reviews I've ever seen for a record score that high! Based on your comments, I would've guessed you had given it a 6 or 7 at the highest, but a 9?! Sure, it deserves it, but way not to make a case for it! And is it just me, or does "Little Birdy"sound like it could be sort of a Nirvana pisser? I'm thinking "Heart Shaped Box"...

...Nevermind, that wasn't for another year. (And that sentance starting pun was unintentional.)

I would have to agree with Jason. Anybody that gives Pure Guava less than an 11 should go listen to Godsmack or Linkin Park, because you can't comprehend greatness. This is the most punk rockest, genius, anti-establisment/rules/formulas/guidelines, funniest, down to earth, up in space masterpiece that i have ever had the honor to grace my headphones with. Big Jilm is the best song ever written and should not be underestimated. And no other band will ever get away with putting a tascam 4-track recording onto a major label release, let alone 2! like Ween. Anybody that does not like 1 song on ANY Ween record is a coward, a bastard and a traitor. These are the guys that got stuff thrown at them while opening for Fugazi. Now if that isn't punk, I don't know what is.

Yikes. What an album. Some Ween fans swear by it, some hate it.

Yeah, well... I think it's just OK.

I can't really describe it. I'm a huge fan of Ween, and I listen to them all the time. But for some reason, try as I might, I absolutely cannot get into this one. Sure I don't hate it, but it really DOES sound like it was put together in about two hours. While there really isn't anything weak on it, nothing really stands out either. "Don't Get 2 Close" and "Springtheme" are my favorites. Stuff like "Mourning Glory" is interesting, but not really entertaining. I'm sure if you're drunk or high while you listen to it, it's a masterpiece. But I'm not going to get high every time I want to hear this CD... I'd rather put on C&C, The Mollusk, The Pod or anything else. A 6/10.

By the way, Mark, don't you just love when you give your opinion on an album, and people call you wrong, an idiot, a homo, etc. and don't even explain why? It's okay, though... Most of those people listen to Pink!

Hey Mark, i've been enjoying your reviews since the late 90s - you're always entertaining and often correct with certain 'heavy rock' styles, ala the Melvins, who you inspired me to delve further into (that Lysol album is amazing), and i can't thank you enough for that. so good work.

you're pretty right on with the ween releases, too, although i've just noticed you've given all the studio albums a 9, apart from a 10 for The Mollusk. i still have issues with White Pepper, which only has one or two songs I really like on it, although it's quite listenable. Quebec was a good return to form. for me Pure Guava and The Pod rise above the rest. but think the country, chocolate and cheese, and mollusk albums are amazing and i've overplayed them so much that they don't get thrown on too often, and i can only appreciate amazing epic songs like Buenos Tardes Amigo when i'm in the right mood now.

But onto Pure Guava, I love the low-fi feel, the fact it is deliberately badly recorded in places, the songs and vocals don t seem well rehearsed (which gives them a great energy), they ve predominantly used tacky drum machines, casio keyboards and distorted guitar and all these elements enhance a bunch of brilliant songs of great humour and feeling. It might help that it was the first of their albums I heard, back in 93 and I couldn t believe what I was hearing. I can t even go through it song-by-song or this comment will never end. But even the hardest song I found to get into, Mourning Glory, works for me now I used to skip past the feedbacked guitars and stupid narration, but now it s almost as enjoyable as Big Jilm.

Hey Mark Prindle I listen to Ween a lot and, as an asshole on the internet, I contend that Pure Guava is the best Ween album and probably the best rock album we've been graced with since Paul McCartney condensed everything I hate about him into "her majesty" and still managed to delight me with it. Okay I was not alive at that time and maybe I'm ignorant of most good rock music since then but my vagina says I'm right and I usually listen to my vagina. They call it "the second stomach."

In a world where this may or may not need to be said, music is only "good" or "bad" to the extent that you do or do not want it to be what it actually is. I adored godweensatan, the pod, mollusk, and C&C long before I considered Pure Guava "listenable" on the whole, but now that I "get it" in ways that non-fans "dont," the album really helps me "get down." The real truth here that you autistic retards refuse to ignore in your little ivory castles is that this album is the most fun I know how to have without doing drugs. That's pretty sad, or it would be if you chose to sit around and get sad about it, which would be quite a waste, wouldn't it?

I like metal and bullshit as much as the next gal but I'm obligated to inform everyone that this album is incalculably "harder" than limpdicked crap about dragons and lions and tigers and bears and pain and murder which I often can't help but feel to be the thinly veiled whining of large angry children.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I could give a track-by-track rundown of how much I like each song but I'd probably forget to discuss the music itself so fuck it. "I'm the one helding the time back as i scope the lobe" is the best moment in music, ever, and every Ween song is the best song ever written, especially each one on this album. I've liked Ween for about 9 months so I know what I'm talking about, okay?

Add your thoughts?

Push Th' Little Daisies EP - Elektra 1992.
Rating = 7

The grade is a relatively low 7 because three of the six songs are just the studio version of the title track with a couple of different sound effects used to bleep out the "S" word. However, the other three songs are must-owns for any Weeners. "Ode To Rene" is Ween gone tropicalia, "I Smoke Some Grass (Really Really High)" sounds even more stoned than the REST of Pure Guava, and "Mango Woman" is a laugh-the-crack-in-your-ass-clear-off-your-buttock-leaving-you-unable-to-eliminate-feces-from-your-body-with-the-end-result-that-you-fill-up-with-food-and-choke-to-death-on-your-own-poop take on reggae. Intereresateanraly, "Rene" and "Mango" sound like Chocolate And Cheese outtakes, not Pure Guava outtakes. Isn't that weird? Holy malarkey, is that some weirdass shit!

Add your thoughts?

At The Cat's Cradle, 1992 - MVDAudio 2008
Rating = 8

I was at this concert! I think this is the first time a band has ever commercially released a live show I attended, so it's a real milestone for all of society. Unfortunately, as I was suffering from mononucleosis and concentrating mostly on my then-girlfriend Jennifer Corcoran during the performance, this recording could actually be from an entirely different show and I wouldn't know the difference. In fact, my entire recollection of the concert is, "Ugh, it's 'ReggaeJunkieJew.' Jesus, I'd better sit down."

It's too bad too, because they were funny! I already knew they were funny from the Pod-era concert I'd attended the previous year, but this 1992 show was every bit as filled with adorable and stupid stage patter. This was back when they still performed shows as a duo, with bass and drum tracks provided by an onstage DAT recorder. Bored to tears with having to tie their performances to a pre-recorded rhythm track every night of a 9 1/2-month tour, they entertained themselves by inserting personal chit-chat and jokey laughter items between songs.

Some of my favorite comments from this performance include:

(before launching into the first song of a tightly pre-programmed show): "Okay, this first song that we're gonna do tonight - it's a totally improvisational decision, a nice loose jam by Ween called 'Big Jilm.'"

"I think we're in rare form. I'm not sure."

"I think I just pushed 'record' on the DAT. I think I just recorded over 'Never Squeal On The Pusher.'"

"That's it! I've had it! I've fuckin' had it! Nine and a half months!!!"

"Yeah, you'd better clap!"

"I feel like an old Jewish man tonight."

(after Gene bungles the first line of "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)"): Dean: "9 1/2 months on the road...." Gene: "And I forgot the words!!!"

(Dean, after playing an arpeggio riff that clearly wasn't "Wanted Dead Or Alive"): "Anybody know if that was Bon Jovi? A cowboy - something?"

(before "You Fucked Up"): "This is about that fucking bitch!"

(when the dramatic keyboard line of "Buckingham Green" kicks in on the DAT): "So fuckin' low. That's about the all-time low point we've achieved. It's what happens when you smoke too much opium."

(Gene, after Dean completes "Buckingham Green" with a 3-minute noise solo): "Wanna hear it again?" (pause) "Well, we're having a good time!"

The oddestball thing about the performance, and something I certainly didn't notice at the time, is that they only played four songs from Pure Guava, the CD they were ostensibly touring to promote. Even strangerer, these four songs did not include their soon-to-be hit single "Push Th' Little Daisies." But most weirdestly of all, they chose to perform TWO B-SIDES from the soon-to-be hit single "Push The' Little Daisies"! So thanks for that, Elektra Records must've been saying at the time.

No sir, the bulk of the show comprised material from their debut GodWeenSatan: The Oneness LP (10 songs!!!), along with a mere three from The Pod, the two B-sides I just mentioned, a redneck heavy metal song they'd later release on Paintin' The Town Brown and - against all possible odds - "Buckingham Green," a haunting folk-prog song that wouldn't see the light of studio day until The Mollusk, three albums later! How could they just sit on a song that great? Why wasn't it on Chocolate And Cheese!? Why didn't they give it a peppy beat and put it on 12 Golden Country Greats? Man. Who knows with people like this!

Most of the song performances are fine. At times they use a messier, more distorted guitar tone than on the albums (particularly in "Don't Get 2 Close 2 My Fantasy"), and there is obviously less emphasis on sped-up and slowed-down voices, but otherwise they're pretty similar to their studio counterparts (barring the moments when Dean just splanks aimlessly at his guitar out of sheer boredom). "El Camino" suddenly turns into "White Rabbit" in the middle, Dean has to retune his guitar halfway through "Fat Lenny" (it's horrendously out of tune up to that point!), and "Papa Zit" sounds like it's being played wrong, but otherwise they're pretty studio to their counter similarparts (barring the door! Zombies!!!)

But enough of my hilarious train of thought gags. Choo-choo!

The CD also includes a bonus DVD of live and radio performances from '91-'92. Many of the songs from the CD are repeated here, but they also toss in two more GodWeenSatans, one more Pod, another song they'd later recover for Paintin' The Town Brown, two oldies-but-not-necessarily-goodies from Live Brain Wedgie and The Timmy Wasserman Tape, and entertaining radio performances of The Doobie Brothers' "Listen To The Music" and a Jewish gag called "Shalom Absolom."

I like it. Hey, anything that brings back great memories of mononucleosis is fine by me!

Seriously though, does anybody know what ever happened to Jennifer Corcoran? I hope she's still alive, and preferably happy somewhere.

Also, in celebration of my having attended this concert, here is every band, artist, and comedian I can remember seeing live at some point:

7 Seconds
AC/DC (x2)
Action Swingers
Air Miami
Alice Donut
Anal Cunt
Archers of Loaf (x2)
Baby Dee
Bad Livers
Bad Religion (x2)
Maria Bamford
The Bats
Beach Boys
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
Bicentennial Quarters
Bicycle Face
Bitter Sons
Butthole Surfers (x2)
Candy Snatchers
Canned Hamm (x2)
The Cars
Caspar Brotzmann Massacre
Cat Power
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Chuck D (spoken word)
Circle Jerks
Leonard Cohen
Corrosion of Conformity
Cows (x7)
Crash Worship
Helios Creed
The Cure
The Damned
Dark Overlord
Das Damen
Dead Elvis
Dead Milkmen (x5)
Dillon Fence
Dinosaur Jr. (x2)
Dirt [Atlanta] (x3)
Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (x4)
Micky Dolenz
Drunken Boat
Duran Duran
Dwarves (x3)
Electric Six
Elvis Hitler
Engine (x2)
Erectus Monotone (x3)
Evil Weiner
The Exploited
The Fab Faux
Faith No More
Jad Fair
The Fall (x4)
Flaming Lips (x3)
Flat Duo Jets
Flesh for Lulu
Flo and Eddie
Fugazi (x2)
The Goats
God Bullies
Greg Ginn
Guided By Voices (x3)
Buddy Guy
Gwar (x2)
Neil Hamburger (20 maybe?)
Hammerhead (x2)
Juliana Hatfield
Tim Heidecker
Helmet (x2)
Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
Heroine Sheiks (x2)
Holy Rollers
Mark Hosler
Impotent Sea Snakes
Indigo Girls
Janitor Joe (x2)
The Jesus Lizard (x4)
Joby's Opinion
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
JP Incorporated
Lenny Kaye & Friends Celebrating "Nuggets"
Killing Joke
King-Kill/33 (x5)
King Missile
King Missile III
Krapper Keeper
Mickey Leigh
Mark Lindsay
Love Me Avenue
Luscious Jackson
Norm MacDonald
Mad Hatter
Madder Rose
Major Entertainer
Paul McCartney (x2)
Meat Beat Manifesto
Melvins (x2)
Stephin Merritt
Metal Flake Mother
Eugene Mirman
Mishki Sanfords
Modest Mouse
Moles, The
Mr. Meridies
My Bloody Valentine
Nasty Savage
Neville Brothers
New Bomb Turks
Mojo Nixon
Moody Blues
Pale Saints
Pavement (x4)
Pere Ubu
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Picasso Trigger (x2)
Pink Floyd
Pipe (x3)
Pixies (x3)
Pleaseeasaur (x2)
Plowing Mud Forever
Polvo (x16)
Poster Children
Mark Proksch
Psychoacoustics Research and Development
Public Enemy
Public Image Ltd. (x2)
Puscifer (x2)
Ramones (x5)
The Raymond Brake
The Reivers
The Remains/Ramainz
Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping
Nile Rodgers and Chic
Henry Rollins (spoken word)
Royal Trux
Scratch Acid
Sebadoh (x3)
Shrimp Boat
Sarah Silverman
Sister Double Happiness
Six Finger Satellite
Slip It In
Small-23 (x2)
Social Distortion
Sonic Youth
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Star Fucking Hipsters
Steel Pole Bath Tub
Sun City Girls
Superchunk (x18)
Tesco Vee's Hate Police
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 (x2)
Tim and Eric
Today is the Day
Paul F. Tompkins
Trans Am (x2)
Ultra Bide
Universal Congress of...
Unrest (x2)
U.S. Saucer
Van Halen
Vanilla Trainwreck
The Ventures
Roger Waters
Ween (x3)
Gene Ween
White Lion
Wiggle (x2)
Wingtip Sloat
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Yes (x2)
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Zen Frisbee (x3)
Zip Code Rapists (x2)

Add your thoughts?

Sky Cruiser 7" - Sub Pop 1992
Rating = 3

Here's a little song I just made up for you:

"Stinky Jim!
Oh Stinky Jim!
Get away from him
'Cause he's Stinky Jim!"

And here's a little joke I just made up for you:

Why did the eucalyptus boat fail to make entry at the Pier of Destinational?
I'll tell ya why! Because the captain was some kinda ASSHOLE!

As you can see, you can't just randomly throw some words together and have a song or joke worth relating to the folks at the weather station. Sure, "Stinky Jim" might serve as a passable theme song for a television series entitled Stinky Jim that follows the madcap adventures of a foul-smelling man scheming his way through the crazy world of high finance, but until I get a call back from Aaron Spellman that one's pretty much shit in the water. As for the eucalyptus boat gag, I might as well have put the punchline at the beginning it was so obvious. In fact, I'll do just that right now:

Why did the eucalyptus boat whose captain was some kinda ASSHOLE fail to make entry at the Pier of Destinational?
Because he shoved all the eucalyptus trees up his butt and shouted "Tim-ber!" as he crapped them out all over the Pier of Destinational's tollbooth operator, who frowned on such juvenile behavior and went to get his supervisor James Arsimmons, who duly informed the captain that his fecal-scented eucalyptus was of little or no interest to the fine citizens and denizens of Destinational, at which point the captain punched himself in the kidney, unzipped his dungarees, and took a horrifying blood-red leak into Mr. Arsimmons' open mouth, resulting in a two-week jail term for the former and a devastating case of Hepatitis C for the latter.

But my point is this: when Ween released this straightforward and humorless soul-pop confection (or 'pastry') just minutes after soaking our brains in the novelty-slop laughter glue of GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, The Pod and Pure Guava, what were we supposed to think but "WTF?" And sure, if we'd only thought "WTC?" instead, we could've gotten to work reinforcing those beams and saved thousands of lives, but hindsight 20/20. In 1992, we'd heard nothing from Ween that even hinted at an interest to perform a song as innocuous and listener-friendly as "Sky Cruiser." When the hi-fi diversity explosion Chocolate & Cheese hit the streets two years later, the song made more sense -- but in forward-thinking retrospect, the flavorless, forgettable "Sky Cruiser" is actually closer in tone and effect to La Cucaracha.

Boring music: Bb/A/F a literal billion times in a row.
Blah lyrics: "Sky Cruiser/You gonna fly through the night/You'll be there when the mornin' comes/to greet me with a smile"
Annoying instrumentation: Where did they find that awful squawky organ? In the middle of the ocean!?
Worthless b-side: "Cruise Control (Sky Cruiser Remix)"

I wouldn't piss on this single if it were on fire, but hey that's why God made the American Flag.

Add your thoughts?

I'm Fat 7" - Vital Music 1992
Rating = 8

If "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" made you shit a brick and "The H.I.V. Song" made you laugh your ass off, "I'm Fat" will make your large intestine uncoil all the way down the highway before voiding the entire foundation of a house!

Featuring a mere two lines (the first of which is "Well, I got big tits and I can't reach my dick when I wanna take a piss - I'm fat!") repeated over and over again for a minute and a half, the song should wear thin, but doesn't -- for three reasons. (A) It's just funny to hear all these curse words sung over and over again, (B) the music is a bouncy silly hoedown that can't fail to unbring a non-smile to your notface, and (C) the song is a call-response between the singer and a "fat person," whose voice has been deepened and obesed through today's high-tech speed manipulation technology such that he actually sounds like a fat person when whining complaints like "Come on, it's no fun being fat! I can't help it!"

The b-side, "I'm Fat (Remix)," is just as ludicridous, slowing down the music and deleting the sung vocals so the listener can enjoy two and a half minutes of a lopey-dopey hoedown, a "fat person" complaining about his girth, and (this is what takes the whole project over the top) the non-stop crunching of potato chip mastication. The entire song is coated in 'potato chip chewing' noises.

Thank you Ween, for your unwavering devotion to making fun of people.

Reader Comments

I'm a fat kid, and I hear potato chip chewing all the time, and it's usually coming from my own mouth.

Add your thoughts?

Chocolate And Cheese - Elektra 1994.
Rating = 9

Do me a favor. When your band gets signed to a major label, take advantage of the extra money and put out an album like THIS. All of a sudden, it's no longer evident whether the Weeners are kidding or not. Oh, okay, it's obvious in sing-songy hilar like "The HIV Song" and "Mister Won't You Please Help My Pony?," but what about "Voodoo Lady," hah? It sounds like the Spin Doctors! And what about "Freedom Of '76"? It sounds like The Temptations or something! (It's "Philly Soul," but I don't know what Philly Soul is, so I wrote "The Temptations" - sorry about that). And "A Tear For Eddie"? She's a dang guitar solo!

This album was the first indication that you, the American record-buying public, were muckin' up the yingying if you wrote Ween off as a novelty act. On this album, they sound like a highly creative, music-loving BAND - or, truth be told as truth will, sixteen different bands. They've returned to the genre-defying songfrig of God Ween Satan, but have augmented it with some killer big league production that, for better says I though whiners might gripe, gives Ween that ever-elusive "genuine" feel for which they've been searching for decades. And it's freaky! You see the video for "Voodoo Lady," and you go "SHIT." Then you see the video for "Freedom Of '76," and you go "eh?" Then you see the video for "I Can't Put My Finger On It," and you go, "Oh! Those first two were JOKES????"

And, of course, they weren't - Ween are honestly attempting to emulate different forms of music that they happen to enjoy. And if that makes it difficult for alternative music fans to pin them down, then dammit, good for Ween! "Take Me Away" sounds like Tom Jones, "What Gener Was Talking About" sounds exactly like Wings, "Buenas Tardes, Amigo" is one of the most amazing Mexican corridos ever written by a white guy from Pennsylvania, "Drifter In The Dark" sounds more like They Might Be Giants than we could possibly wish for, and "Baby Bitch" - sheet, that's an angry little hate ballad.

The single sole downpoint is that I kinda miss hearing the guys talk to each other during the songs (another favorite moment in this vein - the bit in "I Saw Gener Crying In His Sleep" from Pure Guava when the mic feeds back and you can hear one of the boys laugh, "We fucked it up again!" But they left it in. Good for Ween. And good for rock and fucking roll!!!! Or whatever it is that Ween play). I got jack else to say, except that this is a really impressive record for two guys who used to be so darned stoned and noisy all the day.

Reader Comments

erat@ix.netcom.com (Daniel Erat)
This is the first Ween album that I heard. While I really liked it at the time, it steadily went down in my esteem as I grew acquainted with the older albums. Almost all the songs here seem simple and safe compared to ones on the previous albums, no doubt due in large part to the (first for Ween, if I'm not mistaken) use of an actual recording studio. All that isn't to say there aren't any good songs here. "Mister Would You Please Help My Pony?", "Spinal Meningitis", "Voodoo Lady", and "Freedom of '76" are great, and there are others that I like as well, like "A Tear For Eddie" and "Can't Put My Finger On It". But, as a whole, this album just doesn't hold up to repeated listenings for me as well as most of the other albums do. And I still think that "Candi" is one of the worst, least funny pieces of garbage I've heard. It sounds like a horribly failed attempt to make a song in the style of "Hey Fat Boy", "Poop Ship Destroyer", or "Blackjack".

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
Chocolate and Cheese is probably Ween's second best album. What a comeback! The songs actually reach mid-tempo, and they're diverse, well-written and fun, too! Not a bad song on here. What's wrong with "Candi"? It's at least 100,000 times better than anything on Pure Guava. But I've beaten that to death. Listen kids--Ween are a good band, but Pure Guava really sucked.

albracht@wins.uva.nl (Arthur Albracht)
I just love this CD and am fully agreed with your opinion. It is to say though, that I must be in a funny mood to like every song, like "Candy". I think Ween is a band that is very good at two different points: In concert and in the studio. I went to a concert, the 4th of december in Groningen, Holland and that was splended; great voices, fantastic solos, and extremely long, for about three and a half hour!!! When hearing Chocolate & Cheese the next morning, you hear a bit softier side of Ween, but indifferently good too!!!

Badmoon510@aol.com (Pat)
What do i say here? They're incredible. Absolutely amazing. I must admit, this was my first Ween album and it took a little getting used to. I guess I just wasn't ready for it. They blew me away. Every song on this album rocks, a few in particular: Voodoo Lady- songs don't get better than this, Spinal Meningitis- it's sick, I love it. I laughed (hiv) I cried (baby bitch) and if you haven't seen them live then you're breaking my heart. Ween.


Aside from perhaps the Flaming Lips, Ween is indeed the best kept secret in this country's rock scene. They're so goddamn eclectic, you have to be adventurous to be a Ween fan, and not many folks out there are. And I'm not talking about "adventurous" like crappy Japanese noise bands, I mean "musically adventurous". Dean and Gene Ween have brass cajones, and C&C is a delightful stew of Philly soul, Mexican tomfoolery and overall tastelessness (HIV song). You can laugh one minute at a Ween song, and then make an about face and say "Damn, they can write a great song".

rockpud@earthlink.net (Terence Burke)
"A Tear for Eddie" is a tribute to the late, great INCREDIBLE git-skronk stylings of Mr. Eddie Hazel, one of the earlier guitarists for the incredible and almighty Funkadelic ... check out the track, "Maggot Brain" from their album of the same name if you don't know what I mean .... and then proceed to buy everyother Funkadelic record and draw yer obvious parralells to "The Ween" ....

savage1561@juno.com (Evan Streb)
(everything Terence Burke just said)

"Maggot Brain" (the song) is the definitive work from the most underrated guitarist of all time. A ten minute instrumental slooooow electric guitar workout wank jam. It's also supposed to enhance the effects of smoking reefer more than any other song. Or so I'm told. Awesome.

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
Fucking awesome as the teenagers these days say. Much much better than Pure Guava. The melodies are a lot more cleaner and simply cooler. Still hilarious stuff except for that freaky song about meningitis. Meningitus scares me. Other than that really funny but also the music and all are much better. "Mister Will you Please Help My Pony" kicks ass. How can you not laugh at "mister will you please help my pony?/he can't talk because he's a pony"? Pure hilarity. Great Record. This one gets a 9.

Pretty damn good. Listen to this one right after Pure Guava or The Pod, and it will blow your mind that this is the same band. The day I bought it, I put it in right after me and my friend had been hearing Pure Guava all day and we were shocked. PRODUCTION! Hell yeah! Man, I love this CD. The variety is unbelievable. Why can't all CD's be so dynamic? Every song sounds like a completely different band. Every song is a winner. 9/10

if you're a fan of ween then you have a sense of humor and adventure. a large part of their appeal is their unpredictability. you never knew what you were gonna get. sometimes they were baffling with their keen sense of musical genre (chocolate and cheese, 12 greatest...), sometimes wonderfully fucked up (godweensatan, the pod), or just plain asinine (pure guava). one man's trash is another's treasure. without such diversity they wouldn't be ween. it's pointless to discuss which recording is better when it comes to this duo because never tried to make a better recording but rather, a different one.

Jcjh20@aol.com (Joe H.)
One of my favorite Ween albums, though i played it out so much that i could hardly review it. One of the most diverse albums i've ever heard, with Ween covering a whole bunch of different styles! My favorites are the Wings/Paul Mccartney-esque "What Deaner Was Talkin' About", the great acoustic normality of "Don't Shit Where You Eat" and "Baby Bitch", the cowboy campfire country of "Drifter In The Dark" (i'll never understand why you think it sounds like They Might Be Giants, Mark ;) ), the Pink Floyd-ish "A Tear For Eddie", and the soulful "Freedom Of '76". I'd also be a fool to forget such hilarity like "I Can't Put My Finger On It", which sounds like triumph the comic insult dog is on vocals. "Spinal Meningitis" also somehow mixes the old Ween with the new Ween brilliantly as well. I pretty much dig every song on this one, and i'd give it a 9/10, just like most Ween albums are anyway.

Quick one here. Ween is the greatest thing going and I love reading the reviews. This album is killer, but they all are. Mollusk is the best, but who cares. Whichever one is on is probably my favorite Ween album at that moment. I love the jerkoffs who claim that Ween sucked after their first 3 revords. You guys are soooooooooo hip! More Lo-Fi all around. Ridiculous! But I have to say that is the funniest (and truest) line in this entirely enjoyable website: "Buenas Tardes, Amigo" is one of the most amazing Mexican corridos ever written by a white guy from Pennsylvania, That right there, pretty much sums up Ween in a nutshell, and it is one big freakin nutshell, at that.

Add your thoughts?

12 Golden Country Greats - Elektra 1996.
Rating = 9

I don't even like country music, but I love this record. Apparently, as far as I can gather from various flying rumors, Ween were working on an album in New Hope, then their studio burned to the ground (or flooded or something), so, too depressed to re-record the tracks, they went to Nashville, hired some studio musicians, and put this thing together in like a week or something. I don't know if that's true, but it's a good story.

Anyway, these ten (yes, ten, and not twelve as the album title so sillily suggests) songs show the same amount of melodic ingenuity that Ween have always displayed, but this time - well, it's country music! And, like on the last one, some tunes are clearly meant to be humorous ("Piss Up A Rope," "Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain") and others are not. Either way, I just LOVE these melodies! They go out of their way to demonstrate at least a passing acquaintance with several different forms of country/western, including the gentle acoustic balladry of "I'm Holding You," the upbeat hoedown of "Japanese Cowboy," the modern honky-tonk shitrock of "Piss Up A Rope," the loopy '20s flapper music that is "Mister Richard Smoker," and a Bruce Springsteen Nebraska-type depression thing about a dog named "Fluffy." I love this record to death. It's pretty short (only half an hour long), but every song blows me away (except "Help Me Scrape....", which really isn't all that catchy). "Pretty Girl" and "You Were The Fool" are phenomenal, and serious too!!! Good crap.

Reader Comments

erat@ix.netcom.com (Daniel Erat)
My opinion of this album has softened over time, as well. I don't like the overall sound of the album enough to listen to this one very often, and a lot of the songs just seem to be built around a single joke, but there are a couple that hold up well on their own, like "Japanese Cowboy", "Piss Up a Rope", "Mister Richard Smoker", and "You Were the Fool".

bcj@ecr.mu.oz.au (Buck Joyce)
Yes, I agree this is the least enjoyable of the five albums so far. But that's not the point. The point is that you weren't expecting it and neither was I. No one was. Not only that -- as far as country music goes, this isn't bad. I hate country music and I didn't hate this album. I respect the fact that you are not just liking it 'cause it's ween, as it is very easy to do, but I stand by my opinion that this is the best piss-take/tribute album Ween have released, simply because of how dang country it sounds.

jwilson@oz.net (John Wilson)
Have we ever heard of the word experimental? Ween is a couple of glue-sniffers with a few more instruments than a Casio recorder, but they keep the shit real. Check out their brand new one, The Mollusk. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Wholeheartly agree with your review for this recording. Country greats is an underated album. Funny(Muhamid ali sample made me piss my skivies) and serious in the same light. Although I would replace Scrape the mucus off my brain with holding you where "catchy" is concerned. Also, the C.D art is one of the most surreal sights I've seen on an album. With the cowboy looking up and the Horse looking down, Strangly artful for a band most people call "saterical"

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
True that, Mr. Prindle, 12 Golden Country Greats is probably the most misunderstood of all Ween's records. Why? Because it's a damn traditional country album, that's why. Now, I'm not totally averse to country music. I like stuff like the Meat Puppets and Wilco, but I loathe crap like Shania Twain, Garth Brooks and Dwight Yoakam. Thing is, Ween simultaneous pays homage to AND pokes fun at country's rich tradition, so for me, that alone would make me enjoy the album. No one has really tried anything like this before. However, I enjoy the album primarily because of the song craft. Whether they're silly as hell ("Piss Up a Rope") or beautiful ("Fluffy"), I love the songs here, simple as that. Unfortunately, some Ween fans are just too narrow-minded to like anything that smacks of country music. C'est la vie.


bgreenstein@nctimes.net (Ben Greenstein)
A friend of mine recently popped this album on in my car. I had never heard Ween, so wasn't quite sure what to expect. I ended up loving every minute of it. "Mr. Richard Smoker" has forced me to add the term "poopie poker" into my vocabulary, and "Piss Up A Rope" is not only catchy, but is about urination! And I can dig it! The only song I didn't really like all that much was "Help Me Scrape The Mucous Off My Brain," and a title like that more than makes up for a lack of melody. I think I like "Fluffy" better than almost anything off of Nebraska - I'd give the album an eight, maybe a nine at some point in the future.

Hmmm... this is about as novelty as you can get. I hate to be predictable here, but Piss Up A Rope is my favorite. Japanese Cowboy and Mister Richard Smoker are good too. The rest of it just sounds like pretty average country music to me though. I do listen to this one more than the Pod though. 6/10

johnsmit@freenet.nether.net (John Smith)
I may be one of the few Ween fans that also loves country music. So you'd think if you mix the two together, it'd be great, but this album is pretty weak. I have to give Ween mad props for doing a country album, as it was probably the least expected career move they could've taken. I also give them props for doing a TRADITIONAL country album. The thing is, if you're gonna do a country album, you have to judge it by the standards of other country music and in the case of this album, it really pales in comparison to the likes of Patsy Cline and George Strait. A couple of the songs ("piss up a rope" and "you were the fool") are nice, but overall, this is just two guys trying to make good country music, but failing and turning out uninspired generic country. BTW, I bought one of my friends this CD for christmas, and found out the album now has the mohammed ali sample edited out of "piss up a rope." Mohamed Ali's lawyer's can piss up a rope! that was the best part of the so! ng!!

Well I really enjoy this album. It's not their best one but, like everyone else has mentioned, it's catchy. I would like to inform you that Ween made this album primarily to piss off their record company, Electra. Check out Issue 46 of Magnet Magazine (http://www.magnetmagazine.com) for more info on this. Also, the 12 in 12 Golden Country Greats refers not to the number of songs (obviously), but instead to the 12 professional studio musicians that they recorded the album with.

Okay, please let me correct my previous comments. After doing some more in-depth listening, I found out that this album is pretty good. I'm Holding You and I Don't Want To Leave You On The Farm are beautiful. Fluffy is one of the best examples of a beatiful song with funny lyrics in Ween's repertiore (try to check out the live Nashville version). Unfortunately Mark's story of the album isn't true (it is a great story). The story is just that Gene and Dean had a bunch of country songs lying around and decided to go down to Nashville and hire a bunch of session players who used to play on Elvis records and such. I think it's pretty admirable that they actually went through with the whole idea. The live shows from the tour are pretty interesting too. I give this one an eight.

payday@socket.net (Tammy Kincaid)
Lives up to previous album Chocolate and Cheese. One of the most versatile bands around. They have explored musical boundaries unknown and un-thought of. Ween is no joke. They are pioneers, Period. They are THE underground band of their generation, as well as generations before them. Pure genius. I hope to hear more of them.

Maybe this should have a warning on the cover, "This contains no music" naa just joking, just because it's country, don't automatically write it off (like I foolishly do, with every country album, which crosses my path). After a hard day at the steel mill, I like nothing better than to come home and listen to this! O.K. I don't actually work at a steel mill, (and if I did, I would probably listen to The Afghan Whigs superb "Black Love") but I still like to come home from the mall and listen to this! Theres more humour in this, what is, essentially a straight country album, than all the Highway Men albums put together (2). That Johnny Cash covered Soundgardens "Rusty Cage" (on the great in parts, "Unchained album", which by the way also contains a drop dead gorgeous version of Becks "Rowboat" and a song called "I never picked cotton" all recorded by one Rick Rubin!) has got nothing to do with it at all. This album, while hardly bitchin, still has that kick ass, country feel to it, although its as far from "Touch My Tooter" or "Hey Fat Boy (Asshole)" or "Big Jilm" (Man, I was Too HARD on Pure Gauva) as you can get. Country can get away with lame shit (you know, horse died, dog died, girl ran off with the stable hand, town gets a new sheriff, working up the courage to ask the widower Jones to the big dance, sex with animals etc etc) because it's sung with feeling...and WEEN nail it!

Comment: These boys can't do anything wrong and no one mentioned "Powder Blue". You don't have to get your arse pummelled, every time you play a cd, and its a little short, so, why is "Booze me up and get me high" not on this? or the beautiful acoustic version of "So long Jerry"

My rating is the 10 gallon hat of 9's

One thing you didn't mention, and what I'd love to know how they pulled off, is that the famous Jordanaires sing on this album. They happen to be some old school Christian singers like the Statler Bothers. A lot of the session players on this album are old school Nashville guys, which is why it sounds so authentic. If they had known who Ween were, I doubt they'd have conceded to appearing on this album. Needless to say, this album rules. But I don't think it appeals to country fans for some reason - I bought a copy for a country music fan, and he didn't really like it. Maybe it's just too weird.

I love your website, man. Good to see some excellent Sabbath reviews, and to see that you correctly identify Vol4 as the best Sabbath album (but neglecting to mention that it contains the worst Sabbath song - that horrible ballad that Ozzy's daughter was supposed to record with him). Loved the Dead Milkmen interviews too. I'll have to forward your site to some of my peoples.

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Live In Toronto Canada - Chocodog 2001
Rating = 8

From the very first moment I sang "Japanese Cowboy" to myself back in the last century, I realized, "Wait a minute -- this is just 'Chariots of Fire' with lyrics!" On this live album, Ween come clean about their chicanery, ending the song with a full verse and chorus of Vangelis' slow running guys classic. Thank you Ween, for your honesty.

Bringing the joy of the country to concert stages all over the land, Ween hit the road in 1996 accompanied by "Bobby Ogden and the Shit Creek Boys," a group of twangy, fiddley, pedal steely C&W musicians sure to bustin' ready to perform six Golden Country Greats, 4 Chocolate And Cheesers, 3 Pure Guavas, 1 Poddy, 1 future Mollusk and a Billy Joel cover. And luckily somebody brought along a high-quality tape recorder!

You already suspect how the Golden Country songs sound, so let's cut to the quick: how have America's Ween countrified their songs from udder records? Here's how!

- "What Deaner Was Talkin' About" is even more beautiful with a harmony violin section.
- "Pumpin' 4 The Man" is played on bass and drums alone for some reason, until a pedal steel shows up right near the end.
- "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" remains uncountrified, its subject matter simply too dark to survive the genre hop.
- "Waving My Dick In The Wind" is already country, so requires no stylistic changes.
- "Push Th' Little Daisies" sounds even goofier with pedal steel guitar. Also, Gene can't hit those high notes without his voice sped up.
- "Buenos Tardes Amigos" is drenched in creepy pedal steel swoops and suspenseful violin flourishes.
- "Poop Ship Destroyer" features a bit of barroom piano at the end of each verse.
- "Dr. Rock" is even bombasticer now that it's accompanied by intense stutter-metal VIOLINS!!!!! Hold your shorts, Apocalyptica!
- "The H.I.V. Song" is the most adorable thing in the world when its melody is played "unplugged" on an "acoustic" guitar. You'll want to PET it, it's so cute!

Of all the Ween live albums, this is the one that should pique your interest the most. They only toured with a country/western band one time, and you should want to hear it! I hope that my harmless descriptions above have gotten you all excited about trying to find yourself a copy, but if not, here are a few more points of interest:

- They play two minutes of "Piano Man" even though they clearly despise the song. Chorus: "Sing us a song, you're the Piano Man! Put some coke on my dick tonight!"
- They play "Fluffy" for FOURTEEN MINUTES.
- "We gotta be tight here," they announce before "Mister Richard Smoker." "Tighter than, uhh...," they continue, "Steely Dan's asshole."

It only gets an 8 though, because they drop the harmony vocal that MAKES "Pretty Girl," "Pumpin' For The Man" is bass/drum EMPTY, "Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain" isn't a very INTERESTING song, and although I enjoy the IDEA of dragging "Poop Ship Destroyer" out for 6 minutes and "Fluffy" out for 14, in actuality it's a waste of the time/space continuum where other songs could've and should've been performed.

Reader Comments

Bob Royale
Ween has steadily become one of my favorite bands since I first heard them back in you don't care when at you don't care where. But they are a hard band to "get into"- the best part about them makes it really hard to just play one song for someone to check out, as the best part about them is that you can't tell when they're fucking with you. Either this or the Live in Chicago DVD is best, but this is funnier. My old plan was to let someone borrow The Mollusk and ask that they listen to it 3 times before forming an opinion, but that didn't really work too well. They're very much a personality band, and the live stuff seems to be the best way to get people to understand that they're incredibly talented and just choose to sound like they do. The way you can tell they don't want to play Piano Man, then do it note for note, until they purposely fuck it up is more or less the bottom line for these guys. Fluffy goes on waaaaay too long, but that's sort of funny in and of itself as being rocknroll excess. And the Dr. Rock on here sums up my opinion on what "indie rock" bands are missing nicely: Just because you're doing it ironically, it doesn't mean you shouldn't try, and yeah- you should definitely kick ass.

Live in Toronto or Live in Chicago are the best places for someone to start checking out Ween, even if neither of them contain "Happy Colored Marbles", which is in a constant stalemate with "Mutilated Lips", "Transdermal Celebration" and "If You Could Save Yourself" for the best balance in pretty and smart in a song they've ever written. Or maybe "Exactly Where I'm At" or goddamn I love "You Were The Fool". Eh, I'm a fan. This is one of the better places to start, but it's rare so no one will start here and I am very glad I spent 20 minutes or so on this. Ugh, while I want to go on vacation tomorrow, I sure don't want to PACK for vacation tomorrow so I have to be opinionated about albums until the zero hour.

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The Mollusk - Elektra 1997
Rating = 9

God, I love this band! What a great album! Okay, so the first couple of times I listened to it, the emphasis appeared to be on traditional folk music - sea shanties, Irish jigs, bouncy polkas, Chinese spirituals, etc. - but the more I listened to it, the more it sounded like a pretentious prog rock album from the early '70s by Emerson, Lake and Palmer or Genesis or somebody. So maybe it's a combination of the two? Who knows (or cares, really), but there are an awful lot of great keyboard sounds on here - I'm not "Mr. Keyboard" or anything, but I can clearly hear both the tuneless musings of a Moog and the gentle flickety tones of a Hammond or Wurlitzer or some crap. Yay for some crap!

Although you can definitely tell that it's Ween, the fellers have again managed to record an album that sounds almost nothing like any of their others. Aside from the folk ballad and prog rock influences, there's also a delightful rip-off of a bouncy piano tune from 1953 (I guess...), a great jacked-up take on Carsy early '80s new wave, a strangely serious cheeseball Bryan Adamsy ballad, and more overblown pomposity than you've heard on the radio in decades - and it's fantastic! I immediately fell in love with these wonderful, well-developed, and beautifully produced songs, and I like them even more with each listen. "The Golden Eel" is a bit ugly, but even that one has a great chorus. Bombast America!

Is this humor? Of course it is, but only secondarily. After all, as much as ELP sucked the dick, "Lucky Man" is one of the greatest songs ever written. Ween realized this, and basically pulled off a whole album of "Lucky Men." Thank them when you see them. They're continuing to bend genres, but not in that ska-rap-rock way that fans of Sublime and Beck think is so spectacular. Ween know music - they don't have to act cool and try to connect with their generation like all those lookalike MTV darlings do. In fact, with each release, they appear to be getting further and further away from the simplistic bullshit that the kids want to hear, and thank everything and all for that, because twenty years from now, when electronica sounds as hilariously dated to the rest of the world as it does to me right now, Ween's The Mollusk will still sound timeless. It will never go out of style, because it will never be in style. And, as I hope you have surmised by this point in your life, style is for followers, not leaders. Avoid it.

And to Ween fans of old - you probably won't laugh out loud at all as you listen to this record, but why should you? Ween is NOT a joke band. They are eccentric and special, and it's about time the American public starts to give them a little more credit, dammit to hell. I can honestly say I absolutely ADORE nearly every one of these songs. I wish the album were longer than 44 minutes, but we can't have everything. Didn't their last album only come out about a year ago? Another score for Dean and Gene Ween. The best one yet.

Reader Comments

jwilson@oz.net (John Wilson)
Well, you really pulled through on this review. I have to totally agree with everything you say. It seems that Ween have finally pulled off an album that I can easily rate up there with the Beatles. Not over-produced, not too trashy, experimental yet safe. I bought it two days ago, it hasn't left my tape deck yet.

stevenw@execpc.com (Steve Wahlin/Tammy Riste)
I swear, Ween keeps getting better with every release, The Mollusk just helps prove that. And the beautiful thing is that they are one of America's best kept musical secrets. Riding a sound somewhere between ultra-indie eclectia and radio megapop, they have the potential to piss off every person who listens to them. Listeners of so-called "alternative radio" have no taste for Gene and Dean, due to their unique vision; nor do critical "expert" rock snobs because of Ween's quality and true musicianship - not to mention lack of whinyness and/or noisemongering ("Ween are such fuckin' sellouts. And sexist and childish. Gripe gripe gripe." Whatever.) People who don't like (or don't get) Ween are probably the ones gettin' made fun of. I just hope those boys keep making records, because everything else sucks.

?@Ice.Lakeheadu.Ca (Dave)
The fact is, Ween kicks ass. They have proved it six times and hopefully will keep on being Ween until I am 82 (60 years from now)--but even then I will defy my deaf ears and put my hand to the speaker and get a good vibe.

rojanko@pacbell.net (Rob Krohn)
What a strange collection of ethnic tunes and 70's ballads. But strange in a good way! Weeners once again lead us into a compelling LP which features a mix of music style they choose to play just for the sake of playing it. This baby has everything: an Irish drinking tune, pop-reggae, a (very) cheesy 1970's-esque ballad, and electronica. Not every song is something you'd hum to yourself late at night, but most are memorable and kind of funny. Not the LOL funny of the God-Satan release -- more subtle. (Of course what *isn't* more subtle than "LMLYP"??) Since our society likes to classify everything, I'd place Ween in the "Ween" category. "What do they sound like?" you ask... Go buy it!! Find out for yourselves! Give your local Alternative Rock station (in my case, Y-107) the finger. Wussies! They'll probably play "Ocean Man" a couple of times, and then give up on it within 2 weeks. (Gotta devote more time to Save Ferris and Cake.) Huzzah to Mr. Prindle for writing such insightful reviews on one of the 1990's most original groups. BTW, did anyone see the Ween show in Los Angeles last Sept? Going out of town and missing it was one of the worst things ever...

bcj@ecr.mu.oz.au (Buck Joyce)
The Mollusk (otherwise known as Ween discover keyboards) is simply brilliant. Again no tracks sound the same and when I play this at work I am constantly being asked who this band is. When I say "'Tis Ween" they immediately say "Isn't that the band who played that last song? Shit!". So far, to my count, I have converted at least 15 people to Ween, and once you're addicted there's no hope for rehab. To paraphrase some article I read somewhere "Ween will take over the world". Why? Because the only reason most people don't like them is because they haven't heard any more than "Push Th' Little Daisies" and have written them off as a one-inexplicable-hit novelty act, or because they are close-minded Michael Bolton fans (not that there's anything wrong with Michael Bolton, just his fans). If you're not a Ween fan, open your mind and let the Boognish in. You will not be disappointed.

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)
The first thing i would like to say is that ever since i first heard "push the little daisies", i pretty much decided that ween was just another piece of shit band that carried no interest in music or talent. I figured they were just some bratty kids that were too arty for their own good. Their performance in the it's pat movie only helped comfirm that this was a band that i felt we could do without. One night, i decided to give them one more chance and i watched them perform on the show viva variety. The song they performed was "Golden Eel." Lets just put it this way. I was utterly blown away by it. Everything about them seemed so totally different. They looked wiser, their lyrics were extremly intelligent and poetic, there was a seriousness about them that was just totally mesmorizing. After hearing that one song, i went out the next day and bought the album. I was not disappointed at all. I don't even like the fuckin' band, but i will have to admit, not only is this one of the most brilliant albums of the 90's, but i feel this is one of the most brilliant albums ever. i think it is comparable to Drive like Jehu's yank crime, Sonic Youth's Daydream nation and Sister, Kraftwerk's Radioactivity, Beatles Magical Mystery tour, David Bowie's ziggy Stardust and the Pogues Rum sodomy and the lash. Actually, i find a lot of influence from the pogues on this album. Every song is a jewel except for possibly the first little diddy on the album. The production is superb. Even if the album is not as original and groundbreaking as the the previous listed bands, the album is still remarkable. What can i say...it's fuckin' great.

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
One of the best albums of 1997...I don't profess to be a Ween-ie, or anything, but these guys have talent, snot, and disregard going for them, so I hail them and this record. Lots of Genesis-y, ELP-poking stuff...what the hell are they doing to the vocal on "Show Tonight"? It's cool, and so right-on it's scary...also noticed what sounded to me like a holdover from 12GCG on "Johhny On The Spot", except done up with sparse keyboards and drony vocals...maybe they like C&W more than a little bit...but man do I ever love "The Mollusk"! I reminisced, and I rolled...and Ween are good. I give this album a 9.

pasmtsrs#c-zone.net (Sullivan)
Oh My God! The Mullosk is outstanding! Imagine The Butthole Surfers Hairway to Steven meets the Beatles Abbey Road... A completely twisted concept album. The use of keyboards is subtle, and in excellent taste. Psychedelic guitar, and vocal panning/mixing make this album beautiful to listen to. Ween mix styles to perfection, even within songs. I can't say enough good things about this one...Buy it, and experience bliss.

seo@total.net (Stephane Ouimet)
I like the "Lucky man" analogy in your review: this album actually sounds as if ELP, or Pink Floyd, in their spaced out days, or The Moody Blues in their non-geriatric phase have come up with actual songs, not pyrotechnical noodlings. I also feel that Ween isn't a joke band: they can be parodic at times, but there is always a great care about the song structure. My favorite: "Mutilated lips".

I would first of all like to state that I am a very dedicated fan of Ween. I think the ideas that Ween has presented throughout the years has shown that good music is good music whatever style, shape, or form it's delivered in. I would also like to say that the band has presented an emotional expression vortex while maintaining the high spirt of humor.

dmr@interx.net (Dennis M. Rawlins)
The first time I listened to this album, it was dark and windy outside. I have never been told a better bed-time story. I think this is Ween's best. I didn't think so at first, but every tune sweeps me off my feet. Every song is quality. sorry nothing to say about Zeppelin or Floyd, so I better go. Pets Sounds! yeah, Brian Wilson wishes he could pen a tune like "everything will be alright"! WEEEEEEEEEEEn!

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
Agreed here, this album is majestic. I disagree about the statement that it's not humorous though, because while there may not be alot of laugh-out-loud playfulness like there is on earlier albums, this one has a high sense of irony, albeit one that is thankfully not so smug that it brings down the music. This damn Ween band can be incredibly subversive and are almost always very clever. "Mutilated Lips" might be the prettiest song they've ever done, and there's nary a bad track on here, all aces. I even dig the verses AND choruses of "Golden Eel", it sounds really regal and pompous. The album REALLY hits it's stride on the last five or six songs, which are just brain-lickingly superb. I also love how it has a definable theme and is constructed so as to reward listenings that go all the way through the album, not just bits and pieces. I loved Chocolate and Cheese as much as the next guy, but it seemed a bit schizophrenic. The tunes on that one weren't really related, and on the Mollusk they are.


Dinkums001@aol.com (Jared Pickering)
Although I would have to give C&C the 10. I can't stress how great this album is. Maybe if it was a bit longer. The only song that drags is "it's going to be alright", lyriacally it would make Lou Barlow weep uncontrolably, but it doesen't do anything for me. The other songs are super however. I'd give it a 9.5. Also, Dean ween has a side project called the Moistboyz, It's pretty damn good

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
This one is a 10 the whole way through. Most albums that I really love didn't catch me always on the first listen. This one sure did. I bought it to try it out and the first listen I was completely blown away. "Mutilated Lips" has this really Pink Floyd-esque kind of trippy sound to it. And with a name like "Mutilated Lips" you can't go wrong. "The Blarney Stone" is the perfect drinking song. "It's Gonna Be (Alright)"? I think I'm gonna cry from that beatiful ballad. I can't say but good things about "The Mollusk" all the other songs kick ass too. Wonderful melodies, great guitar work. The album is so diverse too. Get it today. Go out and just buy it. Do yourself a favor. You deserve it.

savage1561@juno.com (Evan Streb)
Yes a totally awesome, singy-songy, progressive rock album. ten all the way. the opening ragtime song is the best thing ween has ever done. waving my dick in the wind more than lives up to its title. i love the sound of that flute or whatever it is in the title song. it's gonna be alright is totally serious and unironic for some reason. she wanted to leave reprise starts out normal and then turns into this unbelievably pompous overblown ELPesque closing with one of the guys growling, for I'm not the man I used to be. Now I'm one of them. and then you hear the ragtime song again!!!!!!! awesome awesome awesome. oh! and the blarney stone brings a tear to me eye.

dpriest@mics.net (Debra Priest)
The First ween album i ever heard was about 3 years ago when my older brother bought a cd named Mullusk and at first i heard the first song which we all know that it sounds like these guys are a bunch of ferries, but as i kept listening i heard songs such as "Blarney Stone" and "Mullusk" and i was singing the tunes for the next couple of months.

Well that was in 8th grade and ever since then ive been rocking to the boognish. Their new album i have not got, but i have heard the whole thing over and over and it is pretty damn cool. I gotta say they have matured through the years.

Being the first Ween album ive ever heard back in eigth grade, about 3 years ago i still think its my favorite, except the "Dancing in the show tonite" which is annoying, but its Ween and you gotta love em.

The Mollusk kicks total ass! I didn't like the beginning of the album at first, but then i heard "Ocean Man" and "Buckingham Green". How can you not love that shit? "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight" is the next song I payed close attention to, and I'll have to say that I love the weird little voice changes and the pizzicatto shit on the violin. I love the whole album now. One of my favorites. My favorite songs are still "Buckingham Green", "She Wanted To Leave", and I'm starting to dig "Pink Eye". BOOGNISH FOREVER!!

erat@ix.netcom.com (Daniel Erat)
Wow. I was starting to get bummed out because of the last two albums, but when The Mollusk was released, I forgot all about them. It can sort of be described as a concept album, although the maritime theme runs through only about half of the songs. In almost all of them, though, the spontaneity from the first three albums is back. There are a couple of exceptions, like novelty 80s pop ballad "It's Gonna Be (Alright)" and boring filler song "Pink Eye (On My Leg)", but apart from those and "I'll Be Your Johnny" and "Cold Blows the Wind", the songs are all varied and interesting enough to please, time and time again. There are a ton of neat, memorable little parts, like the transitions into the guitar solos in "Golden Eel", "Buckingham Green", and "Polka Dot Tail", the great synth lines in "Mollusk", and the ending of "She Wanted to Leave". The tamed-down lyrics in "Blarney Stone" are a shame, though. "I'll punch you in the face" just isn't as good of a line as "I'll kick you in the dick."

mateochick1@yahoo.com (Matt Chicoski)
...you mention style in the context of whether Ween had it or not, and how little it mattered. Ween, my friend, has style. Gobs of it! And it does matter, however difficult it is to define. I think you are confusing style and fashion, my friend. For while fashion is but a fad, style is forever.

amcquill@home.com (Andrew McQuillan)
The first Ween album I ever bought and it is one of the best CD's I have by any band.

Hey, now THIS is an album! Overblown progressive rock with an ingredient that is missing from every Yes and ELP record: a sense of humor. The Mollusk, Mutilated Lips, Buckingham Green, and Cold Blows The Wind are beautiful. The Blarney Stone is a funny sea chanty, and Waving My Dick In The Wind is catchy as hell! There are only a couple here I don't care too much for. Ocean Man is okay, but it doesn't really do a whole lot for me, and She Wanted To Leave sounds a bit too much like Yes for my taste. Otherwise, this is a great album. 9/10

Yup, definately a 10 for this awesome album! Every damn song fucking rules. People who think the humor is long gone in this band and that they got all mature and "therefore they suck" are talking out their ass! Some stuff on here is absolutely hilarious, like the pompous vocal delivery and lyrics of "Buckingham Green", the totally parodic radio-ready and corporately formulaic atmosphere of "It's Gonna Be (Alright)" (i have to say though, ironic or not, this song is gorgeous), the weird vocals on "Dancing In The Show Tonight", and the whole song of "The Blarney Stone".

What's great about this album compared to their earlier stuff, though, is that the funny songs sound so serious and authentic for jokes (although they definately have done that before on the earlier albums, of course)! Jokes get old after a while, but these are actually GREAT fucking songs that are amazing even after the joke gets old. Ween isn't some novelty band after all, they really are amazing songwriters. "Mutilated Lips", "Cold Blows The Wind", and "She Wanted To Leave" are absolutely beautiful tunes that also deserve a mention. My only complaint is that "Waving My Dick In The Wind" really doesn't fit that well on this album. More on Chocolate And Cheese then here. Still a great song though! That "tap dancing" middle part is funny as hell!

Talking to a friend of mine, Grant Hart (name changed to protect identity) I say that, The Mollusk, is truely a great concept album, he say's that, although he doesn't have such concept albums as Sgt Pepper, Dark Side of the Moon etc, he just knows they are better. I say that, theres a nuatical theme running through the album, he say's that, most albums have a "theme" whether good or bad. I say that, theres a really cool sea shanty/drinking song called "The Blarney Stone", he say's that, if he want's to get shit faced with a bottle of whisky, he listen's to real Irish bands, like, The Dubliners, Poguemahone and The Butthole Surfers. I say that, each song is a complete masterpiece, he say's that, Weens done a song for "Sponge Bob!". I say that, "Mutilated Lips" is very good, he say's that, he agrees.

Comment: I ask if theres ever been a band more diverse than Ween, Grant wonders if anybody has heard Underworld's "Beaucoup Fish" side one is close to perfect, and has nothing to do with "The Mollusk".

My rating is the full 10 fathoms (Grants is a shallow 8)

associationist@hotmail.com (Philip Prescott)
Possibly my all time favorite album. However, I have to disagree with your categorical dismissal of all "electronica", as all electronic music is certainly not created equal. Do yourself a huge favor and check out Autechre, as these guys are creating some of the most beautiful, challenging, and inspiring sounds ever heard. Try Chiastic Slide or Confield.

This album is the absolute shit. Easily Ween's best, and that says a lot because every other record they have done is pretty great in there own right, maybe with the exception of Pure Guava, which is ok in parts, but kind of bites at the same time. My wife even loves this record to pieces, and she loves Journey. It's probably my personal fave of all time as well, and I never get tired of flipping it on. She Wanted to Leave may be their finest moment. Love that crescending coda at the end. Somehow always chokes me up, even though I've heard it a 1000 times. The sweeping strings are perfect. Can't agree more that this album will never go out of style, because it's timeless stuff here. Some people don't get Ween, but those people are stoopid.

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Paintin' The Town Brown: Live '90-'98 - Elektra 1999.
Rating = 8

Geezus. First of all, that's a REALLY low 8. Like, as close as you can get to a 7 without toppling over the edge. And why? If these are just live versions of those studio classics we've loved for ages, then why would the grade deteriorate so?

One word.

No no, I mean YOU - say one word.

Did you say it?

No really. Say one word.

Was it "poop"?

No? Ahh heck.

Anyway, what separates Ween's live shows from their studio records is the same thing that separates, say, the wondrous joy of Led Zeppelin's Houses Of The Potato from the ickypoo of The Song Remains The Potato. That being wanking. Wanking wanking WANKING!!! Wasting tons and oodles of time on stupid noises, annoying guitar solos and a stoned expression of "atmosphere." Now by all means I suggest seeing the guys in concert. I bet this stuff is awesome live, with the volume and the cheering crowd and the dry ice and the bright colorful lights (I haven't seen 'em since the Pure Guava tour so I can't tell you for sure). But sitting at home in your living hole, the five minute crap intro to "I Can't Put My Finger On It," the atrociously directionless three-minute guitar solo in the middle of "Voodoo Lady" and, worst of all, the 30-minute solo-fest of "Vallejo," get AWFULLY boring. I mean, "Vallejo" starts like a nice Butthole Surfers ripoff and certainly has its moments (the delayed crazy Judaism type vocalizing is killer and the guitarist does some cool shit in the first ten minutes or so), but THIRTY MINUTES????

So what's good about the CD? That's simple: Everything else. It's two hours and four different line-ups of hilarious stoned Ween concert fun. Hear "She Fucks Me" and "I Saw Gener Cryin' In His Sleep" done as country hoedowns on the country tour! Hear "Doctor Rock" elevated to the status of kickass '70s rock classic as played by a full band! Hear "Puffy Cloud" at proper volume during an "unplugged" session! Hear three catchy stupid tunes you might have never heard before (the stupid French "Ode To Rene," ridiculously stupid effects-driven drunken country jam "Mountain Dew" and phenomenally stupid boopity-bop "Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire"). And what, you quiver, what about the dreaded 26-minute version of "Poopship Destroyer"? Well, it's just a bunch of phased, distorted noise. But it's COOL phased, distorted noise! It sounds like a Poopship Destroyer firing on the crowd and causing science fiction mayhem!!! It's that darn follow-up "Vallejo" that does ME in. Again, it has its moments, but certainly not thirty minutes of them.

Enjoy the live Ween! They're cool, they wank, they're Bean!

Reader Comments

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
I just saw Ween like a week ago, and their live show can follow the same guidelines that this double album does: wanky, funny as hell, and frequently majestic. But definitely wanky. It can be hard to determine whether the wanking is an ironic statement on wanking, or indeed an earnest attempt to wank. Regardless, if a band is gonna wank, I'd much rather it be Ween than some crappy shit like Phish or Dave Mathews Band. I think any fan of good music would agree. See, I initially dissed this album (badly) because of the two 30 minute songs and the fact that (when I first heard it) the sound quality on disc one was questionable. However, that was BEFORE I got Pure Guava, and now I realize that the live versions of "Cover It With Gas and Set it on Fire" and "Mountain Dew" are actually normal-sounding compared with the aforementioned album! See? I just wasn't used to the power of the Boognish yet. I like it alot now, though, and I'd give it an 8 as well. And I dig the solos (most of them anyway), especially the Mark-dissed "Voodoo Lady", that version just kicks all kinds of ass.

Okay here's the real poop on this album.

Paintin' the Town Brown was put together by Dean and a good friend under the premise that it would only ever be released in a limited number of copies and sold personally by Ween on a small ween owned e-commerce site.

If you have a computer, which i assume most of you do, and had the chance to visit more than a handful of Ween related web sites. You might have noticed the phenomenon with many Free ween .mp3's (music files) available on certain web sites. Ween enjoys an open taping policy at all of their shows and the trading of their music. And there is a wide variety of Good, Bad, and Ugly ween songs out there on the net. Ween also doesn't mind too much about fans getting ahold of stuff that was cut off their albums in the past and listening to it, and some of the "demo" songs are better than the ones that made it onto the albums.

But to get back to the story, DeanWeen had seen all the web-sites out there and talked to the people who enjoy collecting ween and on a whim put together a 2 cd set of odd, strange, and sometimes cool songs from different shows, much like the ween relasted web sites you might visit sometimes contain an odd collection of ween .mp3's from different shows that have their own uniqueness.

And at the last moment before Deaner got an okay from the record company to release it, Elektra Records decidedly pulled it from the hands of Ween *seeing they didn't have to put an investment into the album and they DO have all rights to music released by the band Ween contractually* and released it to the public enmasse.

The company screwed the boys big time, but it put Ween one step closer to fulfilling their contracts, so they had no real choice but to go along with what their contracts stipulated, that Elektra Records owns all rights to ween material released.

Ween specifically recorded a show in 1998 over in Zurich Switzerland to release as a live album but for some reason or another it never came about but Paintin' the Town Brown was never ever meant to be nationally released .Never. Ever. and it was Elektra records replacement for the Ween-Live Release.

It still pisses me off personally that it was released as it was because this 2 CD set was compiled for more of novelty reasons With a "From Ween to the Fans" type of concept behind it, and it was to carry the feeling of the music thats available out there on Personal Fan sites. And it seems now the whole *concept* behind the album was brutally raped for profit seeing how people anticipated a whole Live ween show experience from the way it was released and all they got was bits and pieces spanning 2 cd's the 2nd CD which failed to be more than an oddity of sound.

As Holy WeenFan Inner Circle as it may sound, this album was meant for all the people who Love Ween for thier live shows, who are big fans of ween and spend money and time following ween,and Taping the shows on audio and video media because "Ween are into it". Then these people spend more time and money trading the music all over the place where it eventually ends up on the internet. Thats who this 2-cd set was thrown together for.

It sucks ass that ween has yet to release a TRUE Live album that only had songs from one show and captured the experience and it really sucks that this 2-cd collection was released in its place.

Because for those of you who bought Paintin the Town Brown expecting to re-live that one or two ween shows you attended were sorely disappointed.

And for those of you who have yet to see Ween play Live near you, you have been misled.

Well, Mark, I'll topple over the edge and give the album a 7. The first disc has its moments. The best thing for me is the totally kick ass version of Mister Would You Please Help My Pony. It just sounds so beautiful and demented at the same time. There's also a great version of Dr. Rock that makes the version from the Pod sound dull. The country version of I Saw Gener Crying In His Sleep is cool too. And one mustn't miss the wonderful Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire. Other than that the CD gets pretty splotchy. I don't think I have ever made it throught the second disc all the way though. It's all noise! 26 minutes of Poopship Destroyer? Jesus! Thank God I found this CD used and only had to pay $16 for it.

johnsmit@freenet.nether.net (John Smith)
So, here I am on this rock called Earth. Once again, I am reviewing a W33n album under the influence of alcohol -- this time it's a fo'ty of Miller Lite. I retract my previous statement about The Pod being Ween's best Album -- Paintin the Town Brown is their best album. You see, I have yet to see Ween live (goddammit) but I hear it's quite an experience and if this album is any indication, then I heard right. Yes, they wank, and Boognish bless 'em for it. If you've got it, flaunt it, that's what I always say. Dean and Gene have defintely got it they are enormously talented musicians. I imagine fans of recent Ween albums would hate this because there are so many old songs, but that's exactly why I love it. THis album really takes the old GWS and POD songs and gives them a kick in the ass -- this is rock n roll high school, baby! Rock on dudes. I was thrown back by the country version of "She fucks me," but I was *double* blown back by "awesome sound" and "mushroom festival in hell." As much as the first disc kicks ass, the second disc totally blows. This could easily have been a single-disc set. ah well, Im willing to spend too much money if it's for quality.

Add your thoughts?

Craters Of The Sac - Online 1999
Rating = 7

Look, here's my impression of you:

"Hey look at me, I'm you." (*takes a dump on the couch*)

Strange that you think it "uncalled for" of me to deposit my anus-plop on your couch, considering I was just imitating an act that you commit constantly. Unless I'm thinking of somebody else, but still.

To lots of some people, Ween is just whatever but others of us hear them and are literally blown to pieces by how great all their albums are. And you don't even have to be a 'SuperFan' to love every record they've put out because the music - no matter what direction they choose to take it - always displays such strong and obvious respect for creativity, melody and/or wit. How many bands can so effortlessly crack you up with dopey stoned bullshit one moment and then mesmerize you with incalculably beautiful music-emotion the next? Seriously, it's HARD to make this many great albums in a row! You can't just wiggle your dick against an amp for half an hour and expect a great album to come out. Sure it's fun if the amp is inside a virginia, but even then the girl gets all electrocuted and the amp shorts out half the time.

In 1999, Ween (according to legend) got mad at Elektra for 'stealing' Paintin' The Town Brown, and reacted by issuing an MP3-only online-only downloadable-only album of unreleased outtakes entitled Craters Of The Sac. It must have been exciting at the time, but then a few years later, Aaron and Mickey Ween reswizzlied three of the nine tracks for official Shinola release, and now Craters Of The Sac only has like 14 minutes of music you don't own.

But OH! The 14 minutes and what they contain! If it's half-composed snake-charmer melodrama you're after, please allow me to invite you to join me in welcoming you to ask me if I'll play "All That's Gold Will Turn To Black" for us! If it's underwritten martial '80s metal you're after, "The Pawns Of War" is an audio gloryhole for you to wrap your lips around whatever comes out of it! If it's a not-all-that-compelling fifth entry in the "Stallion" sweepstakes you're after, then "Big Fat Fuck" is absolutely THE song for you!

Actually, "The Stallion Pt. 5" might be appropriate too, for that particular situation.

My point is that these songs were outtakes for a reason. They're not awful, but they're clearly unfinished. Even two of the three songs they reworked for Shinola are tragically disappointing in their Craters incarnation. These would be aforementioned "Big Fat Fuck" (here dragged out for a painfully uneventful 7 minutes) and "How High Can You Fly?" (here shortened to a painfully uneventful 1:45). "Monique The Freak," on the other hand, is still a GREAT GODDAMNED PRINCE HOMAGE FOR ALL TEN PAINLESS MINUTES.

The strange thing is that there are three songs on here (besides "Monique The Freak") that totally should've been on Shinola but were passed over for some reason. "Put The Coke On My Dick" is a hilariously sleazy, obscene and stupid parody of Nazareth/Aerosmith-style mid-70s funk-sex-rock, brought to life with gravelly falsetto vocals, wah-wah guitar wickitas, a sub-"Hair Of The Dog" riff, a solid cowbell beat, and lyrics like "My penis is a-raw!" "Makin' Love In The Gravy" is another winner - a cool uptempo smooth jive-blooze-rocker featuring what I think may be a vocoder. And the third Instant Classic is the big screaming anger-rocker "Suckin' The Blood From The Devil's Dick," which sounds exactly like Dean's MoistBoyz side project with its pissy midtempo verse and hardcore chorus. To leave these three songs alone in cyberspace was a cruel fate for any man, but especially with songs so entertaining.

You know what sux? When I think a record sounds kickarse when I listen to it for review, then years later I pull it out and can't figure out what I ever saw in it. EXHIBIT A: The Doors' Full Circle. EXHIBIT B: David Bowie's Hours.

I gave Hours a TEN!!??! What on Earth happened to my taste that day?!?

Actually, let me rephrase: I gave any David Bowie album higher than a FOUR?!?!?

Add your thoughts?

White Pepper - Elektra 2000.
Rating = 9

They're just good songwriters. They take genres with which you may or may not be familiar and twist 'em around, upside down, and award them delightful melodies that get stuck in your head over and over and under again, thanks in no small penis to the stirring, Vegasy vocals of Mr. Gene Ween Larrington. This CD, if it has any unifying feel at all, is that of McCartneyesque sissy pop music. But my marmalade the poptones have zest and verve. As Mr. McCartney himself once put it, "Somebody's knocking at the door. Somebody's ringing the bell. Do me a favor. Open the door. Let 'em kill my wife so I can forget all about her and start fucking some pegleg."

There are a few inny-outies, like the stutterpunk "Stroker Ace" and the Caribbean "Bananas and Blow," but most of the CD is sweet suite plop foozik. And awesome. A couple of tracks aren't the best you'll ever hear in the godforsaken shitpile you call your life (the warbly instrumental "Ice Castles," for exantax), but most of it, man - it's not just the killer production, it's the SONGCRAFT. The songs develop. They grow, they groove, they touch. They are and they survive.

Reader Comments

hey mark why don't you review the Moistboyz albums, they belong in here

savage1561@juno.com (Evan Streb)
White Pepper sucked!! Sure they're both 40 years old now, but do they really have to act like it? "I I I love you... even if you don't"???? The hell's that? Ah well, "Pandy Fackler", and "Exactly Where I'm At" aren't bad. And "Bananas and Blow" is perfect. I give it a five.

Ok. Here is my adventure with the amazing musicians that are WEEN. The first Ween album I ever owned was Pure Guava, because I thought Push th' Little Daisies was some funny stuff. I didn't really like the rest of the album except for a few songs. I then heard Chocolate and Cheese on vacation with my friend, and a little ditty called Ocean Man. Ever since then, i have been hopelessly addicted to Ween. I recently purchased White Pepper, and I'll have to say, it is one of my favorites. I think all of the songs are good, except Ice Castles is a little weird, even for Ween. Its been in my stereo since i bought it, and I love every song. WEEN RULES!

dan_watkins@hotmail.com (Dan Watkins)
I just got into Ween a few months ago, and I'm totally addicted to them now.

When I first listened to this one, I was a little disappointed, but a few listens later, I was hooked on it. It stayed in my car CD player for a week straight (until I got Chocolate and Cheese--it's still in there). The soft ballads ARE good! Bananas and Blow sounds like David Bowie singing a Jimmy Buffet song. Am I the only one who loves Stroker Ace? And I like Ice Castles because it sounds like something from A Clockwork Orange. The only song I don't care too much for is She's Your Baby. I think my favorite one here has to be Pandy Fackler though.

erat@ix.netcom.com (Daniel Erat)
Another winner. It's the least risky of all the albums, but that's fine with me if the songs are as consistently solid as these. "Even If You Don't", "Stroker Ace", and "The Grobe" hold their own as straight-up rock and roll, and the others, while much mellower, are written well enough to stay interesting. "Bananas and Blow" is teetering on the edge of cheesiness, but in my opinion, the solo saves it. I'm still undecided on "Stay Forever".

danzig9@hotmail.com (Daniel Lawrence)
I should have written this review when I was more in my Ween phase. Lately, I've been returning to my heavy and punkish roots. Oh well, I've been telling myself I'd get around to reviewing my records so now I will. White Pepper is damn good. It has this really White Album kind of feel to it if you know what I mean. Almost all the songs are great with the exception of track 7,8, and 10 I think. Even they're okay however. "Exactly where I'm at", "flutes of the chi" and "she's your baby" are darn right beautiful. 9

Ween continues to please and expand their musical abilities. This album shows the range of songs that they can produce. It also amazes me that it is the first ween album without the word Fuck.

just gotta say, i'm just about to get into Ween (finally). it's been a long time coming. i first heard of them thru some Mike Patton fans of his (obviously he's a big Ween-fan). so, i went down to a second-hand store and gave The Mollusk a listen; kinda funny - started out kindof Frank Zappa-esque but then it went on to become more of an pop-album.

actually, since the Mike Patton-fans liked them, i figured Ween were a hella-weird experimental outfit and not the brilliant pop-twisting, well skilled musicians that they are.

now, back to the Mollusk-listen: as i said i thought it was too pop so i gave it the cold shoulder. later i tried one more time, this time, White Pepper but i instantly tossed it away cuz right from the get-go it sounded like the more pop-ish stuff i heard on the Mollusk only cleaner and more polished (yuck!!!).

not until today about 2 years later, i'm finally "getting" the band. they are great song-writers! some of their songs are actually dangerously catchy!! "Exactly Were i'm At" and "the Mollusk" come to mind.

i grew up with Paul McCartney and the Beatles as my biggest heroes and after hearing both of them now, Dean & Gene are JUST as good. but what can u say, a great band like this don't get the credit they deserve in this day and age were Eminem and Britney Spears rule the radio and MTV. if only Ween started out during the early 60's, they'd be legends together with the fab four, Frank Zappa, the Doors, Bob Marley, Elvis and Jimi Hendrix. oh, and they must've been dead by now...(that's very important). luckily, they're not dead and luckily, they didn't start out back then. so we who bother digging deeper below the music-industry-ruled surface will have the time of our lives listening to Ween's great great music.

AMEN! (no i'm not a christian)

Jcjh20@aol.com (Joe H.)
I really really like this album a lot! Some people tend to think it's too "normal" for a Ween album, but it just shows how Ween could really write some really amazing songs. I mean, they always have, but these songs are good enough for everyone in the family to enjoy, and not just the pothead brother. Even though i think they could of branched out to even more styles than they did (most of the songs still have the prog sound from the last album or also a beautiful pop song sound), this album is still quite diverse. From weird/beautiful baroque music ("Ice Castles"), to Revolver-era Beatles ("Even If You Don't"), to Jimmy Buffett tropical music ("Banana's And Blow"), Ween continues to flirt with all sorts of styles and genres like they always have brilliantly, and it's one reason why i love them so much. "Stay Forever" is a song that particularly should of been a really big hit. Commercial appeal all over, a beautiful melody, and overall i can imagine it being on the radio (way before "Push Th' Little Daisies" at least). Really impressive progression for Ween and i'm anxious to see where they go next! I also must say that "Pandy Fackler" is one damn great song. I give it a 9.

jla_briola@juno.com (John G La Briola)
"Ice Castles" is the best song on this disc. It sounds like a retarded kid who gets on a bus with a box. But he won't let anybody see what's inside the box. Robby Benson would cry all over again.

Dude, you just don't race home to get stoned and listen to this, like you do, with say "GodWeenSatan" er, I mean, that's what I overheard some kids saying at the bus stop. It's not the sort of album to get wasted to, like maybe parts of "The Pod" um, at least that's what I heard, these pimply bloody school kids say. Like, you don't invite all your mates around, twist up and put THIS on, cough, which is what I heard from these kids at McDonalds. Youth of today, they are tomorrows, doctors, lawyers, and disc jockeys! This album, is for after those times, after the manic scrapings of "Licking the Palm of Guava (sexily slipping into) Mushroom Festival in Hell", after, after, after, because "Flutes of Che" is rather soothing and the whole album is laid back and relaxing, and somehow, still better than average, (and by average, I don't mean, usual amount, extent or rate, I mean GUIDED BY VOICES crappy "BEE THOUSAND", now THATS average) and anyway, there's always a lot of (for)goodness(sake) (hey I just wrote a Prindleisim), on a WEEN album.

Now a reveiw I wrote for a school newspaper when I was 14 years old...

This album is well recorded and all the songs are well played, but this is an incredibly hard album to review, like how old are they now? in their 50's? (do a little more research, ed) after the first 4 songs, things start to go astray. This album goes futherest off the rails, down a middle of the road path (I don't think that's possible, ed) which I find the least interesting. Mind you "Bannanas and Blow" (watch your spelling, ed) is better than The Loving Spoonfuls "Coconut Grove" and "Stay Forever" is better than Rod Stewarts "Forever Young" and "Falling Out" is right up there with Tom Pettys "Free Falling" (stick to the subject, ed) The hardest album to recognise as Ween (who's Ween?, ed) but still good.

Comment: Probably alot better than I give it credit, but it's not really my bag...baby (don't quote shitty movies, ed)

My rating is the cracked pepper of 8's (what is a cracked pepper of 8's?, ed)

Well, I've been a Ween fan since 1993...and I've really tried to give "White Pepper" a chance. But c'mon, with songs like "Bananas and Blow" and "Ice Castles."... And "Pandy Fackler" is probably the worst Phish rip-off known to man {not to mention "bananas" being a jimmy buffett rip-off} ...(if you didn't know, Jimmy Buffer and Fish really suck). Anyhoo, with the exception of, maybe," Even If You Don't(and I Do)", and "Stroker Ace(Strokin's Fun)", this is a shitty gay album.

Thought I'd drop a line about this album, for some reason. I sort of puzzles me, but not in a pleasant, challenging way. Ween seems to have made their fame as a "comedy" act, but not merely that: more precisely as a "comedy like no other comedy you've seen in your life" act and with amazing musical skills. And there's this album, with clean production, professional arrangements, and stabs at humour. Indeed, Ween tackles many genres and pin them down perfectly, and the diversity in this album is stunning. That's the George Starostin way to put it. MY way to put it is: they pick a few assorted styles, grab all the most basic clich s and turn them into a song. That's the stupid thing about "diversity": it's pointless to "tackle so many genres" if you're only going to do with them exactly what everyone else before you did. The fact that you can play many different genres does not mean you're an awesome musician; the fact that you can't, however, does mean you suck. Ween here is not doing anything extraordinary: NOT being limited is the least I could expect from a decent band. Their schtick, though, is to make those "clich s-turned-into-songs" and quirk them up with "funny" lyrics; so 'Back to Basom' tells about "a dancer who has lost her leg", and 'The Grobe' (?) tells us to "put the pointed pencil on the pepper-po". And 'Ice Castles'? I may be reading too much into it, but it sounds to me like a parody on the Mellotron, and the way it was glorified in late 60's and early 70's prog and art rock, Tony Banks and Mike Pinder and all. The Mellotron was a rather unreliable tape-based instrument, prone to going out of tune and fluctuating up and down in pitch, and Ween take it to its extremes here. Thing is: it's a neat melody, and a nicely constructed instrumental -- so why just turn it into an unmemorable skit?

That is not the rule for the entire album, though. 'Bananas and Blow' is pretty amazing, as it wraps up the whole Jimmy Buffet schtick and the yucky "Caribbean vibe" phoniness and fucks it up all the way into oblivion with its lyrical matter. This kind of humour seems very, VERY in tune with what the Mutantes were doing in their early career (you might have heard a song in which they make fun of S rgio Mendes by breaking into a "bossa nova" with an atrociously exaggerated English accent), but comparing both bands, I still think the Mutantes did way better. Ween's humour here seems very caught up in the middle of the road: neither they go full on into making fun of the musical genres and their clich s, nor do they stick to the music itself and brush the humour off. So you get 'Back to Basom', an amazing immitation of soft rock; 'The Grobe', a pretty fantastic fuzzed-out stomper; the X-treme Steely Dan-ness of 'Pandy Fackler'; 'Flutes of Chi', a semi-homage, semi-parody of hippie pop; the "90% of McCartney songs sound just like this" send up of 'Even If You Don't', not to mention the gorgeous ballads towards the end. But they never let go of that feeling that they're JUST waiting for you to give yourself away to the songs and leap out at you yelling "haha, loser, you fell in for the JOKE!". Is THAT the "genius" of the album? To compromise the listener's emotional attachment to the music with the pretense of a humourless "joke"? I dunno if that's a good one. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind, for example, packing 'Stay Forever' into a compilation of "Music for feeling warm and cuddly with my beloved one", along with 'Inn m r syngur vitleysingur' by Sigur R s, 'Rainbo Conversation' by Stereolab and 'My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion' by the Flaming Lips. The music, in its own terms, is really quite beautiful through the album. Even though it is, in the end, just running through those genres "by tne numbers", the songwriting and the sense of melody is superb -- very usual for Ween. And, as contradictory as it may seem, this is one of my favourite Ween releases. I just take the "humour" as an unsuccessful afterthought, though it works sometimes ('Stroker Ace' is throwaway fun, and the fact that it's followed by 'Ice Castles' IS just funny, in a good way -- and 'Bananas and Blow' is genius). If I want Ween for the funnies, their earlier albums do the trick just fine. It's also far better executed in The Mollusk, which is a better album overall anyway. That Chocolate and Cheese one is awful, though!

Add your thoughts?

Rare, Live & Weird - DisqueDuMonde 2001.
Rating = 8

On this illegal, unauthorized bootleg double-CD that I'm about to sell on ebay, (Paul McCartney and) Ween(gs) do all kinds of silly cover tunes and live extravaganzas to enjoy for all intestiny. Besides straight covers of "Riders On The Storm," "Hot For Teacher" (as straight a cover as can be done of that one anyway), Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" (NOT THE ONE BY GRAND FUNK RAILROAD!), the late George Harrison's classic "Something" (NOT THE ONE BY THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS, WHO ACTUALLY ALSO COVERED THE GRAND FUNK RAILROAD SONG "PARANOID"! COINCIDENCE? OR MURDER?????)and the late Sorrell Brooke-inspired "Dukes Of Hazzard Theme," they play great LIVE versions of classics from all throughout their career ("Puffy Cloud" through "Exactly Where I'm At," baby!), an unreleased piece of shit called "Tastes Good On The Bun" and most excitingly of all for all of us Winnepeggians -- a hilarious Guess Who parody! The lovely Burton Cummings-penned ballad "These Eyes" is magically transformed into the bawdy, Mel Brooksian "These Nuts"! HEEE! HE'S TALKING ABOUT TESTOSTICLES!!!!

"Tender Situation" is magically out of tune live, "Bananas & Blow" is not really my favorite type of music, there's too much messy dickering around in "Paranoid" and Phish do an admirable but bland cover version of Ween's "Roses Are Free," but aside from those unforgivable errors of judgement resulting in increased unemployment, this CD bes all that it can be, and finds its future in the Army Reserve. Which, quite frankly, doesn't rhyme at all. It should have taken the ad firm perhaps 4 seconds to come up with the alternate rhyme "Serve all that you can serve - Find your future in the Army Reserve," but apparently afraid of diluting its brand and confusing its audience in regard to the organization's key messages, they decided to stick to the original rhyme but just plop an extra non-rhyming word at the end. Perhaps had they pronounced "Reserve" with a non-silent "e" at the end, the cute, Dr. Seuss-ish rhyme might have burrowed its way into the hearts and souls of a patriotic post-Gulf War USA. Instead, we all started smoking pot and now look at us.

I repeat: Now look at this Ween bootleg. It's every bit as good as it sounds!

Reader Comments

Colin T.
why the hell are you making money off bootlegs? be a man!

Add your thoughts?

Live At Stubb's, 7/2000 - Chocodog 2003.
Rating = 8

This triple-live-CD is available only on Ween's web site, so you'd better hustle! (perform gay oral sex for money) All recorded live in Austin, Texas during the long hot don johnson summer of Y2K, what we have here, in our failure to communicate, is five socks from GodWeenSatan, three from The Pod, three from Pure Guava, five from Chocolate And Cheese, one from Twelve Golden Country Greats, four from The Mollusk, six from White Pepper and four extraneous ones that have no home. The sound quality of these discs is incredible - it's like they're playing live in the studio! Everything's so clear, you can hear that black guy on the drums all being black and everything. Even the Pure Guava songs sound like ACTUAL SONGS! The Mollusk songs come across a bit underproduced, but how could they not when they sound so progressive and ocean-tacular on the album?

A few sour sticky points though: "Voodoo Lady" - great song - goes on forever until it becomes more like a "DOODOO Lady" if you ask me! "Captain Fantasy" is played a little too fast and funky, losing its slashing Queen-style grandeur and becoming more like a "CRAPTAIN Fantasy" if you ask me! "A Tear For Eddie" - great song - drags on for eight and a half minutes until it becomes more like "A QUEER For FREDDY," if you ask Brian May's 1977 letter to Santa Claus! And shittiest of paul is a full disc of nothing but "Let Me Lick Your Vaginar" for 30 minutes. They even provide you with a boring enhanced computer video of them onstage boring everybody in my room, with these tease girls up there acting like they're gonna do something naked, but never doing it like that tease Rupaul woman I'm always trying to nail.

Here are the four songs that aren't on albums: "Homo Rainbow" - catchy! I think it's from the South Park Chef Aid CD. Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" - Great cover of an obscure rarity from the pre-Cherone days! "Booze Me Up And Get Me High" - bland little country-rocker. Two basic chords. And finally - "Put The Coke On My Dick" - dumb novelty blues-funk. Two mediocre songs that could have been combined into one mediocre song called "Booze Me Up, Get Me High and Put The Coke On My Dick," thus saving us about four minutes.

I'm glad I bought this triple-CD because if I WANT to, I'll be able to sell it for all sorts of money, especially francs and shillings (play on words), on ebay at some later date. But do I WANT to? Do I WANT to? OH GOD IN HEAVEN!!!!

Here's a song to get stuck in your head:

I hear the secrets that you keep......

When you're talking in your sleep.

Seven more people got laid off at my work today - that's not part of the song. I've now survived SIX ROUNDS OF LAYOFFS. Am I that good? Apparently I'm that good at not letting people notice that I can't keep my eyes open during client meetings!

Reader Comments

elemurs@yahoo.com (JonnyHopps)
Having attended those particular concerts, I just wanna say that those chicks DID get nekkid onstage... that damn video just censored it for some reason... along with the hot blonde girl's face. Grrr! Censorship is bad! Anyway, they were great concerts and the cds make a pretty good souvenir.

Too weird: I just ran into a highschool chum who I recalled was really into Judas Priest. I mean this guy would rant on and on at how "Turbo Lover" was incredible like it was some kind of "Physical Graffiti." To this I say, as I did back then, "Whatever."

So now the dude's playin' bass for some band. Yes, he still has that Hemi-powered Dodge Charger coupe. And he's really into, of all things, WEEN!!! Good things happen to people when they leave high-school, and I love "British Steel" just as much as the next guy.

He lends me a CDR of Ween bootlegs. I tell him that I have a few Ween rarities too. He tells me their drummer died in a car wreck. I tell him that I hit a deer with my Honda Accord last year. He explains that his band is contributing a song for a Ween tribute album. I tell him to focus on the "12 Golden Country Greats" album for material. He tells me there's a new live album out called "Live At Stubb's" that totally rocks. I tell him that I had seen Ween live in a small club a few years back (at literally a 120 degree sardine cooking environment, it remains as the hottest show I've ever attended, one in which the bar staff was spraying water on the crowd to prevent people from overheating) and that Ween certainly did rock in person. He tells me that I should get this album from their website. Prindle tells me to do the same. I grab my credit card and purchase this, and a copy of Priest's "Sad Wings Of Destiny" just to remind me of how far my musical tastes have changed since I sold my mint '68 Plymouth with the 383 Commando V8 engine. God bless the children of the beast. God Ween Satan. God damnit, there's less than a hundred copies of this thing left in print.

This is a comment in response to your review of Ween's Live at Stubbs, well actually in response to another person's comment.

Just for accuracy's sake, Ween's drummer Claude Coleman did NOT die in a car wreck. He did get in a crash but recovered and is still kicking ass with Ween.

Add your thoughts?

* Quebec - Sanctuary 2003 *
Rating = 10

For weeks, days and time before the release of this CD, Ween kept telling fans to expect "a really brown album!" I did so, and was thus somewhat astonished to find it one of the most "blue" albums I've heard in ages. Aside from the purposely jaunty "So Many People In The Neighborhood" and "Hey There Fancypants," this is EXTREMELY sad and thoughtful music. Everything falls apart from relationships to civilizations, the guitar tones are gorgeous and the gentle, harrowing melodies will make you stand in a huge empty field, lift your arms to the heavens and scream, "WWWWHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???!?!!?!??!?!?!!" And sure, you'd expect such painful beauty from Sigur Ros, but Ween!? Those jerks that did "Push Th' Little Daisies"? Yep, and yes indeed, if I may treat both rhetorical questions as if I'm slightly autistic.

Instrumentally, some of this stuff is immediately recognizable as Ween -- "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" is total Moist Boyz/"Stroker Ace" rokkk akkktion, "Transdermal Celebration" adds a Black Crowes guitar lick to Gene's stereotypical "emotional" oversung delivery, and "Hey There Fancypants" is just a rewrite of "Mr. Richard Smoker" -- but the addition of dark acoustic and electric textures reminiscent of, oh let's say Traffic, CSNY and Cat Stevens gives the overall piece an extremely haunting and serious feel the likes of which Ween has never before created. "Among His Tribe," "Tried And True," "The Argus," "I Don't Want It," "If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)" and especially the eerily reverbed "Captain" simply DO NOT sound like Ween! If anything, they sound like rare tracks by such ghostly kings as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and the Moody Blues, with song composition every bit as powerful as all four of those fine bands and those like them, including but not limited to Yes.

Plus, all of the mixes develop intriguingly as the songs progress -- which is to say that a song will start off quiet and sparse, but fill up with new guitar tones and electronic noises something fierce as it goes (the most unsettling example is "Happy Colored Marbles," which builds from a Pure Guava plinkity goof into a monstrous heavy din of violence and Queen-style guitar bombast through the course of its 3 minutes, 16 seconds on Planet Rock'n'Roll).

I'm having trouble with this review. My head is killing me, as usual. When I die young of a brain tumor, don't tell 'em I didn't warn me. The point I'm trying to get across is that Ween have "done it again." They have, for the jillionth time in their career, come out with a new album that gives us everything we expect and love from Ween PLUS a new element that is amazing and wonderful. And maybe the straight man, Johnny Law, wouldn't use the words "amazing" and "wonderful" to describe music that makes one feel uncomfortable and hopelessly sorrowful, but when his world is set aflame by the revolutionaries of the younger generation, maybe he'll feel some of OUR pain for a change.

Oh fuck, I'm THIRTY!?

So you see, it's important that we work together to prevent today's drug-fuelled, violent youth from rising up and destroying the work we've done building this nation into the greatest country in the world! I say we start by sending all the boys to military school and all the girls to Sit On My Face U.

Reader Comments

heavymental3000@hotmail.com (Matthew Filler)
Ween's Quebec is okay. I like the third song and "so many people in the neighborhood." Yes, the songs are thoughtful, but they sound like b-sides to White Pepper and the goofy songs sound forced.... as if they're trying to stay in touch with their goofy roots or they ran out of steam and just figured it was easier to fuck around. I don't know... the album isn't as cohesive as White Pepper, The Mollusk, Pure Guava... I'm not expecting them to do the same thing over, but I do expect a little more effort b/c they really raised the bar with White Pepper. I do enjoy some of the songs. I give it a 6 where as White Pepper and The mollusk are a 10. I think this album's lazy... but Ween still rocks.

al@weirdenergy.com (Al Angen)
I hope they do all the Provinces. Can't wait to hear ontario.

OMG, I am 47.

spinaltomek@hotmail.com (Thomas Peters)
i like ween very much. they sure know how to write catchy melodies and switch between all kinds of music genres and do a pretty good job on every album as entertainers... ...i downloaded a few songs from this new one, i haven't heard everything yet, but let me state this: "It's gonna be a long night" seems like a complete "We're Mot rhead" rip-off and "The Argus" as beautiful as it is sure was inspired by "Stairway to Heaven"....at least that one part...chorus or what it might be i wonder if there are more parallels to other bands' songs....and i don't even know if this is a good or a bad thing...whatsoever. music is fun!

Love the album.....except for the major diappointment of discovering my favorite song on here sounds way too much like the "Neverending Story" theme....that being "alcan road"...I try to deny it, but it's undeniable...still a great song and concept though, but no longer my favorite :(....."I Don't Want It" came out sounding absolutely beautiful.....my new favorite...."The Argus" kind of surprised me.....great job with that one Ween..."Tried and True" and "Transdermal Celebration"(which, after thinking about it, doesn't really sound much like the "Black Crowes") are both great as well...."Captain" is like being lost at sea in the dark...."Chocalate Town" is my favorite country song they've done, very visual, sorta like a Primus video but with Chocalate instead of Cheese(MWAHAHAHAHA), what can I say, I'm a witty son of a bitch...."Among his tribe", another visual one like taking Peyote with a bunch of Indians late at night in the forest in Mexico....anyway, if it wasn't for the Neverending Story(aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrghhhhh!!!!!!!!) fiasco, this would be my new favorite Ween albulm, but Mollusk is still #1, this being #2, toodles

it's two steps forward, one step backwards, ladies and gentlemen! like you say Mark, some songs here DON't sound like Ween..well, now they do. i mean, what exactly DO Ween sound like? that's a damn fucking good question! isn't it JUST THAT we hoped for with this new record? or did we read the press-release - reading the brown message: "yaaay, Ween's getting back to the ol' Brown roots! yaaay!" ?? or did fans for the most part think "maaan, i wonder what are Ween gonna write about...what kind of music are they gonna play around with this time around??"

ONE of those two "steps forward-songs" is "Captain" - maaan what a beautiful song!!! dreamy, atmospheric, dwelling..i get shiverzzzzz down my spin when i listen to that song. another highlight is "Chocelate Town" - heartbreaking chorus. it reminds me how lucky i am to be a fan of music and getting into these guys. on the other hand, this album has songs which gives me the old Ween feeling back, like "Tried & True", "Zoloft" & "It's Gonna be a M torhead Night". by the way, have you noticed how "Transdermal Celebration" sounds like the Foo Fighters? Ween do that sometimes - sound like someone else, only with that Ween twist. they're also playing with clich -arrangements, like on "if you could save yourself.." normally, pop like this makes me cringe but i choose to take it as a humorous wink at horrible artists like Barbara Streisand and Meat Loaf. pompous shite!

i've been SO possitive lately so i choose to give the complaining a renaissance - just like on "Chocolate & Cheese" they put in the odd cheesy so-called "brown" funny-tunes like "So many people in the Neighbourhood" which actually stands in the way of making this a good CD to fall asleep to at the end of the day. what's with all that annoying drum-machine smashing symbals?? gotta love 'em though, either way. the other brown ditty - "The Fucked Jam" is actually brilliant if you ask me. Melvins-humour actually, reminding me of "Revolve", the re-worked version on "Electroretard". digital comadore 64 noise.

CONCLUSION: what suprised me the most this time around with Ween was they're taste for ambience and cool flow in the music. they finally show a desire to give a song time to develope instead of just wham-bam-boom...wow-good-song!

i basically love these guys! kissy, kissy, gene...kissy, kissy, dean...good night.

tapiad@seattleu.edu (Daniel Tapia)
Completely agree with you on this one--another amazing album from Ween. I think this is their illest album since The Mollusk and definitely shows that the guys are not only really great songwriters, but they're maturing; which is not to say that the brown factor is down any or they're trying to be "serious", but a lot of these songs have a richness to them that previous albums didn't have so much (making this a great headphones album). I was worried maybe the new one wouldn't be so good, or that the guys would try to get back to their roots (which is what some bands do when they're out of ideas) like the stuff on GodWeenSatan, but leave it to these guys to give us a set of songs that are everything we love about Ween already, and more--as Mark put it, songs that often just do not sound like Ween, which rules.

This album is once again proof that guys that are huge music fans from all genres also tend to write the most interesting music. You listen to Chocolate Town and think James Taylor, then you listen to The Argus and hear Yes, then you listen to Captain and hear Floyd etc. and it all rules! Even "So Many People in the Neighborhood" that sounds like a joke (and kinda is) is a well-developed and interesting one; cool noises, great direction! All these songs also develop and build so well--really, just can't say enough good things about this album. And yes, this album does have this sadness to it. I think Dean Ween said that the name, quebec, has some relevance to that quality, but I forget.

What I love about this band is that that Dean and Gene are two down-to-earth, positive motherfuckers and it shows in the music. Of all the bands and artists I listen to no other band can put a smile on my face like these guys. They're great songwriters with no pretension in the music or lyrics; they're not out to prove anything. One key reason that the stuff these guys do is so darn enjoyable is because we're listening to just two likeable friends have fun, make jokes, write songs about their life experiences,and not try to do anything more than just have fun writing music. Fortunately, they're also kickass songwriters. A definite 9 for this album, only because The Mollusk still rules my world.

Good album, but i can't help but think it's kinda a step back. It seemed like every album just got better and better from Ween, with unpredictable changes and ideas everytime. This album seems kinda like a weird mix of early Ween with White Pepper Ween. There's some great songs like the fast, kick-ass Motorhead sounding "It's Going To Be A Long Night", the weird depression odes "Happy Colored Marbles" and "Zoloft", the countryish "Chocolate Town" and the mostly totally serious, emotional "If You Could Save Yourself...". Ohh yeah and "Hey There Fancypants" is a fantastic pop song! The melody is the same as "Mr Richard Smoker", but i think "Hey There Fancypants" is a way better song. No dumb unfunny gay jokes!

But songs like "Transdermal Celebration", "So Many People In The Neighborhood", "The Fucked Jam"....ehh just pointless songs they didn't need to be wasting album space for if you ask me. "The Argus" and "I Don't Want It" are really nice songs too, but i still get the nagging feeling that these sound pretty basic and a little TOO "normal" for Ween. White Pepper had some normal songs, but they had way better melodys and it was also quite diverse and experimental still to be literally "normal" (nothing wrong with "normal" anyway, but i mean it as a synonym for "average" in this context).

However, overall it's a GOOD album, i just feel kinda underwhelmed compared to what came before. Maybe in the future it'll grow on me, but i'd give it a high high 7 or average 8 now.

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
This isn't really my favorite of everything of theirs I've heard so far, but I like it. It's interesting in that it's both more interesting and more screwed up than White Pepper - stuff like "If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)" and "The Argus" are as straight as they've ever taken the art-rock fetish that started with The Mollusk, and "Transdermal Celebration" could be a pretty big radio hit were it recorded by, I dunno, Stone Temple Pilots or somebody. On the other hand, they've given their druggy material a more disturbing feel with that crazy overdub method you mentioned (for me the most unsettling example of this is all those weird spacy keyboards, theremins (I think?), and creepy slowed down chants that color "Among His Tribe"), "So Many People In The Neighborhood" and "Happy Colored Marbles" mark a return to pitch-shifted madness, and "The Fucked Jam" is the sound of having your teeth drilled while some young hoodl! um keeps blaring his bass-heavy hippity-hop music from his car parked outside of the dentist's office. This is as mature as an album that features the pun "could you dig in my soul, could you smell my (w)hole... life?" can get, which is actually more mature than you'd think.

This was my introduction to Ween. My roommate put it on one night and the first song "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" starts playing. I'm thinking, "What the hell? My roommate doesn't like this kind of music. Sounds like a fuckin Motorhead rip off!" I'm barely paying attention when all of a sudden "Zoloft" comes on. Man, what is this? It's kinda trippy and cool. Completely unlike the first song. As more songs come on, I'm slowly getting it. We got the song "Hey There, Fancypants," where I thought the lyrics said "play the songs that niggas dance." We also have the "Fucked Jam" which I agree with the other poster sounds like the asshole behind you in traffic with the 18 inch speakers blasting the latest rap song. By the end of the CD, I don't care if it's a joke or not. The songs are catchy and just completely different from one another. Since then I bought Pure Guava, and I'm realizing that the albums aren't even similar to each other. Good stuff.

Here's my entry in the "What band does the song Transdermal Celebration sound like?" sweepstakes. Answers so far have been Black Crowes, Foo Fighters, and Stone Temple Pilots. Now, pull out your copy of Black Sea by XTC (what? well go buy it then) and listen to the beginning of "No Language in our Lungs". Uncanny!

You're right about this album Prindster. It's the one that got me interested in Ween. I just wish it was my 1st Ween experience. I've learned to love GodWeenSatan, but I used to think it was too headachy.

Add your thoughts?

Caesar Demos - Self-released 2011
Rating = 9

In mid-August 2011, for no reason other than that he's the greatest man on Earth, Dean Ween posted two discs of Quebec demos and outtakes on Megaupload and said "Here." Normally I'd just download this sort of thing and enjoy it in my free time with a pipe and newspaper, but there was something different about this one. Something unique. Something special. In short, THERE'S AN ENTIRE GODDAMNED UNRELEASED ALBUM IN HERE!!!! 13 SONGS, 47 MINUTES -- NEVER BEFORE HEARD BY MAN! PLUS DEMOS OF EVERY QUEBEC S ONE SEC

Plus demos of every Quebec song except "Argus" and "The Fucked Jam," demos of two Shinola tracks, and a song previously available only on the Japanese release of Quebec. Let's look at this objectively: Quebec is the greatest album that Ween has ever released, so clearly they were on a songwriting roll at the time. This is *MORE* than evidenced by the outtake material, almost all of which is stronger than 75% of the material they wound up releasing on La Cucaracha.

No matter what kind of Ween material you cherish, you'll find it here:

- GodWeenSatan overdistorted headachey guitar noise? If the idea of Snakefinger playing lead guitar on a Jim Belushi record appeals to you, "I'm Wide Open" is here to oblige!

- The Pod '70s rock bombast? It's better produced obviously, but check out Bachman-Turner Weenerdrive "That Man (From The Flatland)."

- Pure Guava chintzy home-recorded keyboard profanity? "You Can Go Shit In Your Hat (Matt)" appears to include the verse "Drink a bunch of shots with the fat girls/Smokin' weed out back with the trash/Ridin' in your bumpy lil' shithole/I hope you get crippled and crash."

- Chocolate & Cheese r'n'b/soul shots? Please enjoy the funky-as-HELL Prince-meets-Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin "Ambrosia Parsley," dopey-vocaled "Linda (The Sexy Dancer)" and soulful yet ultimately failed love ballad "Things You Already Know" ("Screw you if you wanna be with that guy in the grass skirt").

- 12 Golden Country Greats? I call your attention to the manic depressive observations of "Oh My Little Country Cottage" ("I stop to gather berries for my rustic summer kitchen/I eat my little sandwich and it tastes like crap").

- White Pepper McCartney pop? You can't go wrogn with the adorable "Pot Luck," acoustic whipperwhooper "Don't Let The Moon Catch You Crying" and heartbreaking "Eulogy For David Anderson" ("It's been a while since you been gone/Still don't know why you left us and a son/I'm alright, I'm still drunk").

- Quebec psych-prog? The chirping, piercing guitar/noise instrumental "Love Come Down (9-11-01)" will literally cause literal LSD to literally leak from your figurative fingertips.

- Shinola silliness? The ridiculous, possibly faux-Mexican accent Gene uses in the jubilant "Hello Jimmy!" will have you laughing until your teeth fall out.

- La Cucaracha musical genres I don't like at all? I'd say the crooner ballad "She Caught My Fancy" certainly applies!

- The Mollusk folk-prog? Uhh... nothin'!

In short, if you like The Mollusk, you will by definition hate this record.

As well as featuring an ENTIRE GODDAMNED ALBUM OF UNRELEASED MATERIAL, the Caesar Demos also invites you to take a gander at some early versions of popular classics, some of which differ significantly from their released counterparts. In this unreleased world, "Hey There Fancypants" is a barrelhouse piano polka! "If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)" is acoustic! "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" is sung by a friend who was about to have throat surgery! "Transdermal Celebration" is more rocky and less druggy! Come on, these are exciting things! "Captain" is too empty and drags on too long! "I Don't Want It" uses a wiggly chorus-effected guitar! "Someday" is sung in that obnoxious yet lovable voice that Gene later used in "Shamemaker"! I love Quebec and I love Caesar Demos! Man, download the SHIT out of it!

And now here's a bunch of things my mother used to say that for some reason didn't seem strange at the time:

- "I'll be back in two shakes of a puppy dog's tail."

- "It's cold as a cat's meow out there!"

- "Want some chooka-locka-chooka-locka-boom-boom-boom?" (Translation: "Want some hot chocolate?")

- "It's raining. Better take your bumpershoot!" ("bumpershoot" = "umbrella")

- "Stop making an E.R.S. out of yourself." (apparently how my brother spelled "ass" as a child)

- "Stop lolly-gagging and get over here!" ("lolly-gagging" = "dicking around")

- "I haven't seen her in a coon's age!" ("coon" = "raccoon," not "black person") (Seriously! Look it up!)

There are lots more, but I'm totally blanking on them right now. If I remember any more later, I'll add them. So be sure and check back every couple of days!

Reader Comments

Fidel Juarez Guzman
I love Ween; thanks for the info. I downloaded the files, and they make me feel good about the world. "You Can Go Shit In Your Hat" is the best. It's absolutely amazing. The rest ranks from very good ("Pot Luck" --I'm not naming the Quebec outtakes--) to very good: "I'm Wide Open"), with some very good moments in between.

This is what pop music in radio or in current TV should sound most of the time like. And they're outtakes.

I hope I'm not overrating this stuff. But, where's the creativity and fun? In Super Heavy's songs?

I like "She Caught My Fancy", also.

Add your thoughts?

All Request Live - Chocodog 2003
Rating = 8

Check out this fantastic parody of John Cougar's "Hurts So Good" that I just came up with:

"I wear...
Shirts so good,
Come on baby, I wear shirts so good
Sometimes I love to wear shirts with a hood
but I... wear shirts so good."

This is the kind of epochal event that could earn thousands of Deutschmarks (lira) for some savvy entrepreneur if John Cougar weren't such a pissy pussy who refuses to allow his artwork to be embettered by such parody sub-scribes as "Weird Al" Yankovic and "Strange Bob" Rivers. Oh! That totally ass reminds me of a hilarious Elton John parody I came up with over the weekend. The crazy thing is that one would assume that this joke has been around for three decades, yet I've never heard it! Perhaps I run with the wrong crowd:

"Don't let your son go down on me."

That's all I've come up with to date. But it's enough to build an XXX-rated movie around, so I'll give the Dark Brothers a call and make that happen. I'll get Gerard Damiano right on that. It'll be a perfect vehicle for Savannah, Shauna Grant and John Holmes. I'll give Zebedy Colt a call right now and get him on that.

Right before an undisclosed member of America's sweethearts Ween checked into a hospital to deal with an undisclosed addiction, the band invited its fans to submit song requests for a live Internet concert. Well, the results are in and so is the album! Unfortunately, the fans have fratboy taste, requesting simplistic jokes like "The Stallion Pts. 1 and 2" and "Awesome Sound" that worked like daylight in the studio but were never intended to be replayed in a concert setting. Hey fans - up your ass, but did you notice that you didn't request ANYTHING AT ALL from GodWeenSatan, 12 Golden Country Greats or Chocolate & Cheese? Thanks for the well-wrapped Christmas gift of nothing!

At any ra(ce ha)te, the live Internet concert features 16 tracks in totale, encompassing one each from The Mollusk, White Pepper and Paintin' The Town Brown (WHO IN GOD'S NAME VOTED FOR "Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire"!? That is an outtake if ever an outtake there was in life!), two each from Pure Guava and Quebec, three rare non-LP tracks (the dumb hard rockers "The Stallion Pts. IV and V" and the - if rumor is to be believed - rejected Pizza Hut jingle "Where'd The Cheese Go?"), and a head-twistingly odd SIX from The Pod(!!!!!). What's up with that? Do Ween usually not play songs from that album or something? I actually saw them on The Pod tour and if memory serves they played quite a few off of it that night so I don't know what you people are talking about.

The mix is pristine, there is no live audience, Gene demonstrates that he is able to recreate all those different voices without the aid of post-production gimmickry, and Dean makes no guitar mistakes to note. The one disappointing thing about their performance is that most of the Pod and Guava material is played as a duo with drum machine (sometimes with a rudimentary bass added in). It would have been much more interesting to hear those old songs played by the modern-day full band line-up. I guess the bunch of lazybones were too sluglike to learn them. But it's tough to learn things when your bones are lazy, I've been there.

Ween is a great band. I sometimes forget exactly how great they are when it's been a while since their last release. Very few outfits are able (or willing) to so easily switch back and forth between hilarious, offensive, heartbreaking, poppy/melodic, funky, parodic and ass-kicking, and the fact that their only hit to date has been the ludicrous novelty "Push Th' Lil' Daisies" is more an indication of commercial radio's profit-driven irrelevance than a reflection on Ween's talent.

It's a shame that the fans chose to clog up this once-in-a-lifetime 'All Request' concert with so many novelty tunes because, as great as Ween is at using studio goofery and funny voices to create instant classics in this much-maligned genre, the humorous material doesn't translate well to the live experience and mostly just wastes time that would have been better spent on more melodic masterpieces like the wisely-requested "Happy Colored Marbles," "The Stallion Pt. III," "Tried And True" and "Stay Forever." And sure, it's hilarious to hear Gene giving the incorrect change in "Pollo Asado" and reciting the BRILLIANT "Stallion Pt. II" aside "A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-A-L-L-I am the stallion, mang!" but the music in these tracks is incidental at best, and aggressively repetitive at worst. In fact, the only novelty track that truly deserved to be voted into the set list is the non-LP "Where'd The Cheese Go?," an adorable little keyboard riff accompanied by a laugh-loudly conversation between a confused "Junkyard Willie"-style black man and his wife on the topic of a cheeseless pizza. Rumor has it that they submitted this track to Pizza Hut for a possible commercial. If this is true, then they clearly submitted it as a joke because there's no way that a song making this much fun of black people (negros) was going to pass the corporate interests of any non-KKK-managed company. Maybe it was actually intended for the Cracker Barrel?

I know that this review seems awfully negative for a CD that receives an 8/10, but that's only because Ween are much more talented craftsmen than this disc's song list suggests. It still contains a ton of winners (I haven't even mentioned "Demon Sweat," "Cold Blows The Wind," a super-funky take on "ReggaeJunkieJew" or "Mononucleosis," complete with woozy sickbed guitar tone), and it's quite impressive to hear how well they recreate all of this material without overdubs or voice manipulators of any kind, particularly in "The Stallion Pt. II," in which Gene and Dean pitch-perfectly sing their respective 'a little sped-up' and 'a little slowed-down' vocal parts ("Yo dude - he's the STALLION!"). Not to mention that, as Gene states at the beginning of the concert, "You didn't pay a cent, so don't fuckin' complain."

Granted, if you go to www.chocodog.com to purchase the disc, you WILL be paying a cent, but you're not me. I'm unruly. I do things my own way.

Reader Comments

That's weird, this comedian I know told me that joke, except it was an Elton John/Michael Jackson collaboration. Ever considered a career in standup?

Add your thoughts?

Live In Chicago CD - Chocodog 2004
Rating = 8

Live In Chicago is actually a DVD/CD set (the DVD features 26 songs, the CD only 17), but I only own the CD so that's what I am reviewing here. I'm a bit bummed to miss out on live renditions of "Touch My Tooter" and Led Zeppelin's "All My Love," but we can only review what our ears can see, after all.

As so, the video-free CD version of Live In Chicago features live performances of 6 Chocolate And Cheese tracks, 4 each from Quebec and The Mollusk, 2 White Peppers, 1 The Pod and an empty black hole of desolation where the GodWeenSatan songs should be. (The DVD apparently has "You Frigged Up, You Botch -- You Really Frigged Up," but what good does that do me in my soft audio-only lifestyle?). The song selection is obviously great because the band only had like four bad songs at this point, but Dean's extended guitar solos wear on the patience a bit. Neither technically astounding nor particularly melodic, they come across as mere string-twiddling whacksturbation. And I'm not knocking string-twiddling whacksturbation, it helped rid the world of Michael Hutchence for example, but why stink up my ear with a bunch of "BWEE!" when actual riffs are known to be prevalent?

Although almost every composition is performed expertly, the only song that differs notably from its studio counterpart is the formerly new wave "I'll Be Your Johnny On Th' Spot," which here alternates between blistering speed rock and sorrowful minor-key arpeggio passages -- until they ruin it with a five-hour guitar solo. I have little else to say about the CD, other than "Even If You Don't" kicks off with a fun Spaghetti Western piano motif; "Voodoo Lady" is destroyed by a sixteen-year noisy guitar solo of racket and horse shit; "Roses Are Free" is far too piffly and lightweight to drag out for six minutes; and it's quite humorous when Gene announces, "This is a blues. We know this is Chicago, so we know you like your blues" before the band kicks into "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)."

As of this typing, I've yet to see Ween perform as a full-band unit as they do here. They sound excellent though, filling out their music with such surprises as disturbing thunderclaps ("I'll Be Your Jonny On Th' Spot") and morbid bell SFX ("The Argus"). I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for future tour dates.

There's one now! (*points at attractive woman*)

(*gets Maced*)

More importantly, here's what I got for XXXmas 2009 (including the stuff I bought with XXXmas money and gift certificates):

Bad Mags Volume 1: The Strangest, Sleaziest, and Most Unusual Periodicals Ever Published! by Tom Brinkmann
Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema by Jasper Sharp
Cannibal: The Most Sickening Consumer Guide Ever! by John Martin
Making Mischief: The Cult Films of Pete Walker by Steve Chibnall
No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema by Mark Schilling
Shock Festival by Stephen Romano
Trash Cinephile by Blake Ryan
X-Rated: Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker by Stanley Long

Abigal Leslie Is Back In Town
Cinderella 2000
Coffin Joe: At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
Coffin Joe: Awakening Of The Beast
Dangerous Seductress
Doriana Grey
Games Girls Play
Grapes Of Death
Hey, There's Naked Bodies On My TV!
Justine & Juliette
Last House In The Woods
Mad Cowgirl
Mill of the Stone Women
Mother Of Tears
Short Night Of Glass Dolls
Shutter - The Original
Snake Dancer
Viy (Spirit of Evil)

Cupcake-Shaped Bath Fizzies
Framed photo of Knut The Polar Bear (photo taken by my father!)
Henry The Dog 2009 Wall Calendar
Henry The Dog Christmas Tree Ornament
Henry The Dog Shaky Snow Globe
Shirt with a slice of pizza on it
Shirt with NYC road signs on it (inc. "Joey Ramone Place")

Reader Comments

Wow... you've never seen the full band version of Ween perform? That's a shocker. There must be a mistake. Even I've seen them once, and I go to like one concert a year.

I have the CD/DVD combo of this Chicago thing, and the DVD is worth getting if you get the chance. You really do want to see "Touch My Tooter" live. One of my favorites.

Dammit! You're buying Coffin Joe's movies(Z do Caix o in portuguese). He might just be one of the most enigmatic and bizarre personalities from brazilian horror cinema, the guy is a living legend. At Midnight is a godamn classic, just notice how talented he was back in 1964.

About the Live in Chicago CD: he's alright.

Add your thoughts?

Shinola, Vol. I - Chocodog 2005
Rating = 9

Ween have done it again! At various points throughout their career.

Shinola, Vol. I (named after the top-selling insult "You don't know shit from Shinola!") is so much better than its title and history suggests, it's almost enough to make you buy The Worst of Jefferson Airplane. Resist the urge though; just buy Surrealistic Pillow. The rest of their discography is absolutely horrendous, and Grace Slick rubbed her stinky oily labia all over it.

This album consists of previously unreleased Ween recordings, but what's weird is that nearly every one of them should have been released on an actual album. I mean, I was expecting a bunch of stinkers -- but how in the Hell did the ugly, stupid "I Can't Put My Finger On It" make it onto Chocolate And Cheese yet the equally noisy but hilarious "Big Fat Fuck" get rejected? How did the spot-on Motorhead parody "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" get picked as the Quebec opener, yet the spot-further-on Thin Lizzy homage "Gabrielle" not get utilized as a closer? Heck, "Did You See Me?" is as 70sish, dark and Floydian as anything on that album; why'd they relegate it to a Chocodog release? I could go on like this all day.

And will! "Someday" is as lovely (and funny!) a Wings imitation as anything on White Pepper, and the hilariously gay "Boys' Club" is a jillion times catchier and wittier than "Bananas And Blow," so what gives? Some may argue that these songs wouldn't have fit on any of their other records, but that's total bullshit. The last few records have had overriding moods, but the country CD is the only one that sticks to a single style from beginning to end. If this weren't the case, the dark psychedelic Quebec wouldn't have "It's Gonna Be A Long Night," "So Many People In The Neighborhood" or "Hey There Fancypants"; the seafaring/folk balladry/prog The Mollusk wouldn't have "I'll Be Your Jonny On The Spot," "It's Gonna Be (Alright)" or "Waving My Dick In The Wind"; the McCartney pop White Pepper wouldn't have "Stroker Ace," "Pandy Fackler" or "Ice Castles"; and Chocolate And Cheese wouldn't have any songs at all!

So let's just blame it on the band not wanting to put too many tracks on one CD. And let's be happy about that because Shinola, Vol. I is a total winner from near-start to finish! The fake brothers attack about a million different genres (in song order: lo-fi '70s stoner rock, gay pop, psych-blues, novelty funk, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, stoned carnival marijuana, beachy smooth jazz, saxophone Kaddish, hippy sci-fi pop noodling, Prince, soft rock), nearly all of them are fully developed compositions (though a few, like "Tastes Good On The' Bun," "How High Can You Fly" and "Big Fat Fuck," could use more lyrics than simply the title being recited over and over again), and although there is some terrifically clever musical humor in tracks like "Someday" and "Israel," only a couple of songs actually sound like they were intended as mere novelty ("Big Fat Fuck" is the major offender in this area, though it IS funny to hear a distorted, de-octaved Gene repeating those three offensive words for an inordinate amount of time). For my money, cut "Tastes Good On Th' Bun" and "The Rift" to half their lengths and you've got another perfect Weener release!

A few favorite highlights:

- According to All Music Guide, "Boys' Club" is a Michael McDonald parody. I don't agree with this, but Gene's goofy faux-low voice is close enough to Michael McDonald's to laugh at, whether that was his intention or not!

- "Gabrielle" features a beautiful harmonics-driven guitar line in the final verse. This makes up for the inexcusable absence of double-guitar harmonies in a Thin Lizzy parody.

- Although a dead ringer for late '70s Pink Floyd, "Did You See Me?" also features a fantastic cornball 'medieval rock' break at 3:46 that'll have you laughin' to Betsy if your ears are on.

- Though it feels awfully repetitive on first listen, "Israel" actually adds in elements as the song progresses -- note how the saxophone winds up being doubled by a synth Chinese flute and "doo doo" vocals... and what's up with that police siren after the first 'verse'?

- "Monique" is nearly six minutes long, yet features so many different parts - all danceable - that you hardly notice! And just try not to giggle at the vocoder chorus. TRY! I DEFARE YOU!

- Starting with its second verse, "Someday" is an absolute scream -- from the fey lead vocals to the "large group of people who can't sing" background vocals to the meaningless lyrics ("Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Is Pizza Day") to the Marvin Gaye-style "dramatically speaking the words after they are sung" chorus to the over-wistful recorder break and ludicrous harp flourish to the Mellotron strings backing the guitar solo. HOW IN CHRIST'S NAME DID A SONG THIS SMART FAIL TO FIND OFFICIAL RELEASE!?!?!?!?

If you're a Ween fan, please go to www.chocodog.com and buy this CD right now, before it goes out of print. Unlike the many live releases that have seen limited release on the site in past years, Shinola, Vol. I is an essential purchase. Your collection is NOT complete without it. And if you've never heard Ween, this is as good a place to start as any. In fact, it's probably a more accurate representation of their wide stylistic range than any previous release besides Chocolate & Cheese. I'll admit that a few of the songs are underdeveloped, but jeez, have you listened to Pure Guava lately?

For that matter, have you listened to 99.8% of last year's major label releases?

Of course you have! We ALL have! Remember that excellent Lenny Kravitz album Baptism? Tell me THAT won't be lighting up Martian podcasts 50 years hence! And sweet Christ don't get me talking about Godsmack's The Other Side -- you'll have me squirtin' Silly Sperm til your cat's his own salt lick!

Reader Comments

I think I could agree with you on the repetitive song title songs, but I think ween are smart enough to stash aside a few rare goodies to eventually compile something like shinola. Hopefully, volume II will be just as impressive. I really think this band is super talented and their live dvd is a fine testament to that statement. I honestly don't think they get the recognition they deserve, but fortunately albums like shinola will scare away people who they don't want at their shows anyhow. Very smart, indeed. I give this shit a ten, and each studio album the same cause they just get exponentially better with each release.

"The rest of their discography is absolutely horrendous, and Grace Slick rubbed her stinky oily labia all over it."

You really do have an amazing talent at crafting imagery that grosses me the hell out.

So let's be real here. First, I am a major Weener, just can't get enough of this band. Best band over the last 15 years easy. But not all of these tracks should have made official release. Sure, you could probably have squeezed Boys Club somewhere onto the end of the Pod or on Pure Guava, but it's not that great. Tastes Good on the Bun is groovy, but there isn't much here. Israel? Please. There are 4-5 really excellent songs on here, and the rest are what they are, outtakes or goofs. But the others, well, they make a helluva foundation for a groovy record. Gabrielle, Did you See Me?, Monique the Freak, and ESPECIALLY Someday are all great tunes. Hell, Someday is one of their greatest fey pop songs they have ever done, and they've done a few great ones. My 2 year old son instantly started singing that song in the car, and especially loved the Pizza day part. Hilarious. So take this for what it is. A testament to a band that writes songs so cool and original, that even their outtakes are better than 98% of what gets released by anyone else. The Rift is pretty nifty too.

Ah, I just ranted on the Strokes page and now I feel like doing a positive review. This album is so much fun! It really could have been considered a full album too, it's just as cohesive as, say, Chocalate and Cheese (not at all). There are a couple fillerish songs, but I still get a kick out of listening to Big Fat Fuck and whatnot. Gabrielle rawks, Boys Club is hilarious, Did You See Me really never should have been left off The Mollusk, and Monique the Freak is amazing (FREAKY GIRL! FREAK-AY!). I can see why Ween never released Someday - it seems like they're trying to make the humor on their newer albums a bit more subtle, and Someday pretty much gives that up in the second verse and becomes absolutely ridiculous. It's hilarious though! Especially the Marvin Gaye-ish speaking voice (good connection, I wouldn't have made it). And Israel - well, it's not that good at all, but it does sound exactly like a real Jewish sermon. Minus the music. Trust me, I know.

Mark, regarding Shinola's availability, I just bought it last week at J& R Music World so it's available in some stores. BTW, good Ween review,s I've only just gotten into them two weeks ago and have fallen in love.

jbp703@gmail.com (Jeff)
Ween is possibly the greatest band since the beatles, and not because they're better musicians than any of their contemporaries. They just never forgot music is fun! Yah they are great musicians, but you can tell they do it for the love of it, not becasue they're trying to be "artists" or some shit. There's too many asshole pretentious dickhead musicians on the airwaves and in the bars trying so desperately hard to make some grand sweeping statement. Are those cockfags any fun to see live, fuck no! A friend once said to me: "If radiohead is so good how come they don't sound like Ween?" and he was right wasn't he.

*just a note: I do like radiohead just not as much as Ween. I'd rather wave my dick in the wind then put everything in its right place*

invisible_now@mail.com (Dan)
The songs on Shinola were (more or less) all available to the diligent ween fan for years prior to it's release, but in much poorer quality. It includes outtakes from The Pod (Tastes Good on the Bun), Chocolate and Cheese (Gabrielle, The Rift) The Mollusk (Transitions, Did You See Me?, Boys Club), White Pepper (Isreal ? ) and quebec (I Fell in Love Today (?), Someday). The remaining tracks (Monique the Freak, How High Can You Fly?, and Big Fat Fuck) are culled from a 1998 internet only release called Craters of the Sac .

The story behind Craters is that Ween originally intended Painting the Town Brown to be a free internet only release through their website. Elektra said, "No, you Commies! We don't give things away!", and released it commercially. Ween got even, and released Craters of the Sac through their website as a freebie to the fans, or at least that's how the story goes. Craters, by the way, is probably the "brownest" of all Ween's albums. I'll gladly send you a copy if you're interested, Senor Prindle.

So, yeah, I heard almost all of the songs prior to the release of this album, but even then, it did not dissapoint. Ween stripped back "Monique the Freak" from a 10 minute funk jam with dueling moog solos, and there's another version of Gabrielle out there, but, for the most part, the other songs remain intact, only with much better sound quality than those MP3's I downloaded years ago.

Theoretically, Ween could realease about a dozen volumes of Shinola and still have plenty of outtakes and rarties to go around, and I hope they do.

It's been speculated that the reason these songs never made it on to "official" releases, as you've noted, is that they sometimes sound like other artists. "Gabrielle" sounds like Thin Lizzy, "Boys Club" has its Michael McDonald-isms, "Monique the Freak" wouldn't be out of place on a Funkadelic record, and that prog-tastic 'break down' in the middle of "Did You See Me?" is apparently very close to some part in some Jethro Tull song that no one cares about.

Whatever the case, Shinola is a Ween classic (aren't they all, though?).

Add your thoughts?

The Friends EP - Chocodog 2007
Rating = 6

Well, I guess that's it for Ween. I'm sure you saw their 'career suicide' performance at the MTV Video Music Awards the other night, highlighted by lackadaisical lip-synching, listlessly stoned choreography, and a lardy paunch where their tight pre-childbirth abs used to be. I know we shouldn't be surprised after their turbulent past year of dropping babies on the ground, shaving their heads while crying, and getting out of cars with no underwear on, but it's still a tragic day for musicalkind.

As such, let's take it easy on their spotty new EP.

The Friends EP is positive proof that the same Ween who have so brilliantly nailed prog rock, country/western, '70s hard rock and Wings-esque pop in the past are also capable of tackling five types of music that don't interest me in the least. Here now the news:

"Friends" - Gay Disco
"I Got To Put The Hammer Down" - Funk/Dance
"King Billy" - Reggae
"Light Me Up" - Salsa
"Slow Down Boy" - New Romantic Balladry

The EP as a whole is surprisingly keyboard/organ/synth-focused, with the guitar mainly on hand for oddly-distorted solos. However, the wild and woolly fact is that they manage to strain not just listenable but honestly goshdammed classic songs from genres 1-2 and 5. Though certainly conceivable ("No. 1 Song In Heaven," "No Parking On The Dance Floor," "True"), this outcome was by no means guaranteed, so many kudos to Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman for coming through yet again. "Friends" is a wonderfully exuberant, dancey gay anthem; "IGTPTHD" is sleazy enough to pass for MoistBoyz material; and "SDB" finds Gene adding yet another funny voice to his cabinet of funny voices -- this time the Rick Astley-style 'big Romantic voice' - while singing the questionable refrain, "Slow down boy and let him blow you.... away."

Unfortunately, reggae and salsa are irredeemable genres meant only to cause pain, and thus cannot be converted into worthwhile Ween material. Especially when they drag out "King Billy" for six methane-wafting minutes.

But on the more exciting news tip, I'm almost done with my fifth solo CD-R. It has one song on it about the President being gay that starts with the words, "Learning to love...," a phrase that I have just learned is also the title of a song on the upcoming Ween album, La Cucaracha. So I guess grate minds do thing alike.

Another song on my upcoming fifth solo CD-R includes the verse, "How old are you, little girl?/Only 15!?/Why, that's far too young!/Still, here's my peen."

Look, I'm not recommending you BUY my upcoming fifth solo CD-R; I'm just saying, "Here it is. It exists." Or will soon, if it doesn't already. It's called Smilehouse: The Tragic Remains Of An Abandoned Masterpiece and it has more than 50 songs on it. Ask a record label to release it for me by name!

Reader Comments

Supposedly Ween recorded 50 tracks for their new album, and this is just a selection of those that got cut. I hope Ween does make a gay disco album. They seem to be pretty good at it. I really liked the first two songs, and "Light Me Up" was pretty good too. See, this is the thing I really love about Ween - their debut album is 17 years old, and they've been together for at least 3-4 years longer than that, and yet they're only getting better. Most bands peak after only a few years together, while for these guys I think their best albums are the later period ones like Quebec and The Mollusk, and with this EP it looks like they're still full of ideas. I'm going to see them live in about a month and I'm really excited. Apparently I have to get tickets soon because they sell out fast, so it's good to know bands like this have a following - they really deserve it, considering radio won't play their songs. Okay, I guess the tunes from this one are too tongue-in-cheek, but what about "Transdermal Celebration"? "Back to Basom"? "Stay Forever"? Which reminds me - why does it seem like in order to be played on the radio your songs have to be either stupid garage-rock or based in hip-hop? Which reminds me again - Ween have never done a hip-hop song. Maybe someday we'll get one! After all how many people ever thought Ween would do a disco song that sounds like "Believe" by Cher?

What really bugs me about this release is the performance of "Light Me Up." I heard them play it live a couple of years ago, and at that time, it was a really great little straight-forward rock song. Then, I buy this EP and find out that they've turned it into a "Bananas and Blow" clone. Why?

The rest of the EP is okay but pretty disappointing by Ween's standards. The only real stand-out track for me is the gay title track.

Add your thoughts?

La Cucaracha - Rounder 2007
Rating = 7

You may not remember because it was years ago (especially these days), but The Coca-Cola Company's trademark Urine(TM)-flavored soft drink "Mello Yello" used to have a TV jingle that read, "Mello Yello to the rescue/Mello Yello to the rescue." I didn't mention this to the police at the time, but I sincerely believe that had Mello Yello performed its ostensible function, those children would still be alive today. So I don't want to hear any more of this yibber-yabber about me "sitting by idly" and "acting in criminal neglect" as I "poured gallon after gallon of carbonated beverage" onto the heads of "four kindergarteners" dangling from a "cliff."

Speaking of cliff, Ween just took a leap off one; check out this shitty album.

First of all, let's get one thing straight: this is not a "shitty album," even though somebody might have pwned my computer and 1337HAXXORed that it is. The Cockroach is in fact a fine little record, particularly for people who've never heard Ween and thus don't realize that this is the biggest piece of festering shit to ever come out of their hairy unkempt assholes.

Since the dawn of man-time, The Ween Boys have been dependable producers of two key musical qualities: (a) diversity and (b) strong melody. Although La Cucaracha definitely has no shortage of diversity (and may even be their most varied release yet), much of it is depressingly lacking in the hooks department. Those fans who, like I, were overjoyed by the memorable prog rock and pop melodies of their past several records will likely feel a bit let down by a record that tries to recall the less-rock-oriented stylings of Chocolate & Cheese while failing to come up with material anywhere near as infectious as "Freedom Of '76," "Buenos Tardes Amigo," "Take Me Away," etc.

Compounding the issue is that several of the tracks retread genres already covered by Ween -- but in less satisfying fashion than previously. Neither the relaxed blue-eyed soul of "Blue Balloon" nor (especially) the astonishingly bland and pointless "Sweetheart" sound like anything more than Chocolate & Cheese outtakes; "Object" has great creepy lyrics but relies on an ageless folk melody we probably already heard somewhere on The Mollusk; and it's difficult to believe that the static redneck hoedown "Learnin' To Love" came from the same minds and mouths that created the stellar 12 Golden Country Greats a mere decade ago.

Furthermore, Ween fans are hardcore and Ween doesn't have 'hits'; as such, there is absolutely no reason for the band to think that La Cacuracha will sell a single unit to anybody who doesn't already own The Friends EP. So, if their claim is true that these 13 songs were pulled from a possible 50, why the F*&#*$&&$*#&@*#& did they put (a less interesting mix of) "Friends" on here!? And who in God's name thought it was necessary to release ANOTHER reggae song!? Particularly one that sounds exactly like the one on The Friends EP!?! But enough of my questioning exclamations.

When Quebec was released a few years back, Ween guitarist Mickey "Dean" Melchiondo expressed concern that he wasn't too sure about the record and was afraid that people wouldn't like it. Quebec is excellent though, so I can only surmise that he has reached a point in his life where he just isn't very interested in guitar-oriented rock music anymore. This theory is pretty strongly supported by the fact that there were no rock songs on The Friends EP, and only three or four on here.

In concept, this is fine; Ween has always had the melodic skills to make even the least appealing types of music palatable to a young person's ears. But in execution it's a complete drag, because it's starting to sound like they're more concerned with creating seamless imitations of non-rock subgenres than using their creativity to elevate the music above those subgenres. Take "Spirit Walker" for another example. This song is laugh-out-goddamned-loud funny in its spot-on parody of Cher/Celine Dion adult contemporary balladry (the things Gene does with his pitch corrector will have you chuckling hilarity tears), but the music is so faceless that it could pass for a genuine Celine Dion track. And who needs that when we already own all sixteen of her excellent albums?

After the preceding seven paragraphs, it may surprise you to hear that I'm extremely fond of 6 of these 13 tracks, but such is the case:

- "Fiesta" - Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass collaborate with The Sonics on a '70s game show theme!

- "My Own Bare Hands" - Stupid crunchy-guitared GodWeenSatan throwback with lyrics like "She's gonna be my cock professor/Studying my dick"!

- "Shamemaker" - Gene brings one of his funniest voices ever to this catchy parody of 'radio punk'

- "Lullabye" - A very pretty piano ballad, and proof that they haven't completely lost their popular songwriting skills!

- "Your Party" - A sickeningly atmospheric and sleazy adult contemporary/smooth jazz piece about what is clearly (though it is never actually defined as) a swingers' wife-swapping party. David Sanborn guests on seXXXophone!

- "Woman And Man" - An ERIC BURDON parody? Maybe I'm wrong here, but this 13-minute hippy psych bongo pretentious flute noddly guitar jazz Latin soul rock jam sure sounds like the poorly-stated social politics of The New Animals' "Man -- Woman" mixed with the sprawling-to-a-MAJOR-fault musical vision of The Black Man's Burdon (his second album with War, featuring such hits as "Nights In White Satin, Part I," "Nights In White Satin, Part II," the 10-minute "Sun/Moon," and the 13-minute "Paint It Black Medley"). At any rate, it's certainly the hardest rocker on here, it has a killer guitar solo, and it ends with a full minute of Vietnam gunfire! Now if only this song would become a huge hit so we could convince Ween that ROCK parodies are the wave of the future....

Ditto for "Weird Al" Yankovic.

No no, I mean I have a ditto I'd like you to pass out to "Weird Al" Yankovic, as well as all the other children in the class. (Little joke for my senior citizen readers)

At first I convinced myself that the problem with La Cucaracha is just that I'm not a fan of most of these musical genres. But having listened to it several times now, I really don't think that's the issue. As I've stated a billion times already, Ween has always managed to transcend genre restrictions before. This time, they just kinda wallow in them.

So if you're a fan of generic reggae, blue-eyed soul, country jigs, folk and adult contemporary -- GREAT NEWS!!!

POST-SCRIPT: As it turns out, I was sorely mistaken about "Woman And Man." I sent an email to Dean Ween asking if the song is an Eric Burdon tribute/parody, and he responded, "fuck no. i'm definitely not a fan of eric burdon, even his work with war." So THERE, me!

Reader Comments

Dear Mark,

I would almost relatively almost agree with your La Cockaracha review except that it's not right at all, but at the same time it's very correct. Shit. I don't know, my problem with this album is that "White Pepper" and "Quebec seemed to more or less confirm that Ween were very much pop geniuses on par with let's say Ringo STarr, I was very muy muy interested in their new dickscratch of a cock record la fuckmycrotcha, featuring moody blues guitarist denny hastert.

however, what arrived in my illegally downloaded zip file was not what i was expecting, where was the heavenly guitar licks? where was me goldurned cockslap melodies? All I heard were a bunch of fucking novelty songs!! and i was like "gosh darn if that weener through me for a dick loop or five! Eventually, however, I came to realize that I very much love this album. While possibly veiled under some uncouth song genres. Ween were still doing what they did best, and that's being one of the most diverse pop numbers on the planet. Sure, some of these are retreads, in fact, most of the forkin album is a retread! This shit sounds like Chocolate & Cheese part II, and while not as classic as that album, it's definitely not far behind. and call me a heathen, but even that landmark of a humbug didn't have as choice tracks as "With My Own Bare Hands" and "Woman and Man" (quite possibly the greatest epic song of all time, despite it's faux, uh epicness).

I also take issue with you not like "Sweetheart?" one of the better cuts off this LP pizza.

a solid 8/10 from esteemed music cricket, love, dan butler

I agree with the 7. I'd like to say it's an 8, but I haven't listened to it but three times now and I've got a feeling it won't get a lot better anytime soon. Highlights for children:
<3 The drum solo in Fiesta, when they speed up the end of it so it doesn't sound like drums.
<3 Blue Balloon. For some reason this song fascinates me!
<3 With My Own Bare Hands is absolutely breathtaking. A classic!
<3 Shamemaker is on a par with WMOBH and is a great new voice.

I think the acid is finally wearing off.... :(

Well Mark, I hate to disagree with you, but I d like to disagree with you. I think this is a terrific album, easily a 9/10.

First, the cons: the Friends re-write is vastly inferior, and Shamemaker just sounds far too much like radio punk for me to enjoy it (I can just picture one of the douchebags in Sum-41 or Good Charlotte hearing it and saying, Hey, this song is awesome! Would you like to have wild homoerotic sex? With angst! ).

But I think everything else is gold. I don t want to play Mr. Psychoanalysis or anything, but I think the problem may be that they re beginning to embrace every musical style on its own terms, and are adding less and less of the distinctive Ween influence. This is fine for me, because I think that their melody-writing skills are as strong as ever, but to a person who actively dislikes so many musical styles (reggae, jazz, country), I can see how it would be a turn-off.

But like I said, I think this stuff is gold. Maybe it does sound a bit like their past material, but they ve been releasing music for 17 years, and in the span of one album they cover more musical styles than most bands do in their entire careers. It s amazing that they ve gone this long without copying themselves, considering that it takes a band like AC/DC or the Ramones exactly one song before they start ripping themselves off (not that I m putting them down, as I love both those bands).

The personal highlights for me (or at least the ones you didn t praise):

Object An ageless folk melody? I d say it s more like a timeless folk melody, and the lyrics are terrific.

Learnin to Love A bouncy electric country ditty. How can you not love the dub-a-lup-a-dub-a-lup-a-dub-a-lup part, or the guitar solo that plays along with the voice raising and lowering in pitch? Pure genius, as far as I m concerned.

The Fruit Man I really don t think it sounds that much like King Billy, and either way, I think it s several notches better, since it eschews the odd distorted keyboards, and it features a terrifically eerie vocal performance. And, as I mentioned earlier, I have no problem with reggae.

Spirit Walker Far too funny and Ween to be compared with any Celine Dion song. Plus, I think it s very fun to listen to. Hey, if Gener and Deaner can do it with 80 s dance music, why not adult contemporary?

Woman and Man Okay, you already praised it, but I d just like to point out that this may just be Ween s finest song ever. Oh yes, that s right.

So anyway, I disagree with your assessment, but I certainly see where you re coming from. After all, if Ween decided that they wanted to do a straight-up hardcore punk album, I d probably say that it was shitty as well

MARK, long time, no chat, we used to share words on the misbegotten music babble. You actually wanted to buy LSD off of me once, but then when I re-mentioned it to you like 2 years later, you said you had no memory of ever even wanting it! Which is crazy, cause you practically invited me to your apartment to do it with you. Hahah, don't worry, I quit drugs, I just feel obligated to bring this story up every time I talk to you. Anyway, I think the new Ween is better then a 7. Mainly cause I think everything after track 5 is amazing. I guess I like Blue Balloon more then you and I think Object is pretty good, both not amazing though. I think Friends is awful, and I hated most of the Friends EP... I also think Fiesta is a repetitive waste of time. And you are dead right about Learning to Love. But When My Own Bear Hands kicks in, I am swept along for the Ween journey, so much so that I think I like this way better then quebec, which I thought was kinda bloated. In fact, I think thats been Ween's biggest problem since The Mollusk, starting with White Pepper, and that is album sequencing. I think White Pepper starts off utterly incredible but lets down as it spins down. I think quebec is the same, but it has some filler in the middle (interesting filler though) but is tail-ended with unmemorable subtle tracks. Now on this new one, I just think the start sucks, and the rest rules. Spirit Walker is nowhere near as bad as you paint it, in fact, I find it very well written. Fruit Man has a great slow groove. I also find that Sweetheart in the Summer flows very nicely after Shamemaker. Sweetheart in the Summer sounds like really good E.L.O. to me. You are right about Lullaby and Woman and Man, top fucking notch. Also, Your Party is a nice little respite after the majesty that is Woman and Man. Ween is one of the few bands I can tolerate saxophones from. Anyway, in conclusion, its 8/10 for me. I think the 7 belongs to quebec . This is better then quebec.

So I figured I would throw my hat into the ring that is Ween's new album. It grew on me but that i assume is because i have a big boy crush on the band and i was bound to listen to it until i enjoyed it. The only really bland and pointless songs on here i see (couldn't write "hear") are the neutered version of "Friends" and the boring-except-for-being-sort-of-funny-in-how-bad-it-is "Learnin to Love". "Sweetheart" reminds me of "I Fell in Love Today" from Shinola 1, just nice in a real-relaxing-nobody-gets-hurt-or-offended sort of way. And Dean sings in it, like normal singing, i think? It sounds nice and he should do it more. "Shamemaker" would've been indistinguishable from the radiopunk it mimics except for the hilarious ugly (awesome) guitar solo. It's great. Spiritwalker is boring too, I don't know why I didn't put it on the list above. The Fruit Man too. So okay, four songs are bland. I'm not married to Lullaby either, but it makes a nice intro to Woman and Man, which is a good studio approximation of the "let Dean solo for eight minutes" songs popular at concerts like voodoo lady. Overall 7 sounds good.

Couldn't agree more with your review Mark. In my opinion it's the worst album they ever put out which is very dissapointing to me cause i've only been a Ween fan since after Quebec came out. I only like about half of the songs on here, more or less the songs you like. But I can't even stand Fiesta, man, what a boring piece. Woman and Man is great though if you get over the first 2 lame and melodyless minutes. I also like Lullabye cause that's something they never did before and it's beautiful. Unlike Sweetheart which is maybe the most boring schlager Ween ever did.

So when that Ween gtr guy was so pissy about the Nets and stuf in the Onion AV thingee, and saying it was sick, was he veiledly talking about this revvie? Is that what Deener was talking about? He did sound tired.

This was a long awaited album for me, coming such a long time off of Quebec. Shinola was out after that, but that was older material technically, though really well done. At first, I was happy to hear songs with melodies that were memorable right off the bat. "Object", "Learning To Love", and "Friends" are catchy as hell, and it felt like their pop songwriting side was coming out more, but after another 2 or 3 listens, I realized how this is pretty flat and underwhelming compared to Ween's earlier stuff.

One thing I didn't like at all about La Cucaracha was their penchant for bringing back the weirdness of their first 3 albums, except it sounds a lot more contrived coming after The Mollusk and White Pepper, which were more mature, crafted pieces of music rather than novelty (although "Fruit Man" sounds exactly like it was recorded in the Pure Guava sessions). They always had their great and twisted sense of humor even throughout those albums, but they utilized it in a way that fit with their current direction. But now a song like "Fiesta" or "Spirit Walker" (with the intentional misuse of auto tune on the vocals) is equivalent to a pie in the face. It sounds sorta funny, but just like any average novelty song, it sounds funny once or twice, but gets old quick. And I don't know whether it was a good idea to parody "radio emo-punk", especially when it sounds a little too close to Avril for my tastes.

I do like those 3 aforementioned catchy songs a lot though, as well as the beautiful piano ballad "Lullabye", the psycho freak out "Woman And Man", and this album in general is growing on me more. It's easy to be highly disappointed and confused by this, but Ween are still able to write good songs. Even "Sweetheart", with a melody that could've been written by a 5 year old, still has that early 70's AOR sound down-pat, and I'm sure that's what they were going for. Just too bad that they didn't make an effort to make the best Ween album they could make at this point in time, instead of focusing on parodies of various genres.

I've been into Ween since Pure Guava (though I was about 9 or whatever when that came out) and when I first heard this album it had no effect on me at all. Its solid 1 pound block of WEEN PRODUCT, it came and went and I wasn't even aware I was listening to anything new. Giving it a closer listen this is the weakest Ween album in existence next to Chocolate and Cheese (yes I'm in that group), the only songs I really like are Fiesta and Your Party. My Own Bare Hands is not as grizzly as it should be, Spiritwalker sucks completely, the traditional fake reggae with funny vocals song sucked once already on God Ween Satan, Learning To Love is actually great because its awful, and I think all other songs are wiped from memory until I hear it again. I hate to type this, because Ween are still Ween, they're still the best live band you can see in these horrendous dark times of BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD music (I despise my idiotic generation and its obsession with expensive toys such as cars, cell phones, internet, sports, plastic tits, and STILL television, glad to see rock has still failed to accomplish anything but mind/wallet control, punk has managed to divide and categorize everyone, metal is running in endless circles and it won't be long before we see the first commercial black metal or epic 80s warrior true metal top 40 single in America, where is this going, shut up) , they obviously had a great time recording this and still and shouldn't give a fuck if anyone likes this album or not. But being a long time devoted fan and coming off the high of Quebec and White Pepper I was expecting a hell of a lot more, instead, I got a Ween album. I don't think I was let down, I can't be sure, you might as well buy this, all their other albums, yes I SAID BUY, try to see them atleast 4 times live in one year, buy their shirts, force people to listen to them and enjoy probably the last real band to have more than a couple of hundred fans in these shitty self destructive overcrowded with fucking morons times. In fact I turn this review around, I may not like it personally but I'm overfed on Ween, you better like this fucking album cause I'm sure you're still sniffing the dead farts of 70s-90s Rolling Stone Magazine Rock Idol Guitar Hero The Video Game VH1 RnR Hall of Fame Merchandise Worship and wouldn't know a Minutemen record from a Das Klown cassette. Man, The Who are so fucking good.

The Who are fucking great!

unclebookie@yahoo.com (Rob Greene)
Man, I can't take it anymore. I have to put my 3 cents in on this one, because I am afraid everyone wrote their review the day after it came out. Like all fine Ween, I like to let it settle in on me before I decide.

This record is a solid 7 just like Prindle says, but not nearly as half assed as he eludes. I agree that it is a bit of a let down after a 3 record run of greatness that was Mollusk, White Pepper and finally, the amazingly good Quebec. And there first records were great too, although I have grown less fond of Pure Guava over the years. So the casual feel of this record is a bit disjointing. But they kind of had to lighten up a bit here. Read the issues that the band was going through on Quebec and you'll understand.

The sound is great. There is unfortunately no real theme, although by being titled the Cockroach, I sense some type of theme on scummy people or something (check Object, Your Party, etc). But that is probably not right. They don't stick to a (basic) single genre here, but there are still plenty of good songs. And honestly, my 4 year old loves this record, which is a good thing and makes a ton of sense. HE loves Blue Balloon and Friends and Your Party and especially Sweetheart.

With My Own Bare Hands kicks ass. I love the riff especially right before they go back into the vocals. Object is fucking creepy and a great song. LEarning to Live is goofy, but the whole vocal/guitar breakdown bridge is killer. Lullabye, which I have no real idea what it is about, generally brings tears to my eyes. Woman and Man has a killer solo, and even better, killer bongos! (Sounds stupid, I know). Yes, Spirit Walker sucks, but the faux emo of Shamemeker? Maybe, but I hear it as more of a Dead Milkmen rip. Listen to the solo.

Let's be honest here. We are comparing Ween only against Ween, as they are so far and above better than just about anything going and have been for the last 17 years. So in comparison to the Mollusk? Come on, that is possibly the greatest record ever. Compared to the new Rhianna or whatever shit gets lauded these days or played on "metal" stations or that new rock shit or God forbid Jack FM, this is brilliant stuff. And I would also point out I know who the Minutemen are (I think I'll listen to them as I drive around today).

SO FAR, I don't like this one as much as Quebec, either, but you know how things can be. With you and megatug on "Woman and Man", though. That is at least one of the greatest epic songs of all time, and definitely one of Ween's best. When I heard it, my spirit divided in two and gave itself a hug, and then at that fast jammin' climax at the end with them singing "Woman and Man working together" (if I remember correctly) it further divided itself into a trillion pieces and merged with all other souls that are alive now, have ever lived, and ever will live, and solved all of the worlds problems, all during the course of 13 minutes. "Your Party" is mildly funny.

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