Monday, August 29, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Eight

Day 10: August 23rd, 2011



“It’s Gonna Be a Long Night”

A stupidly great homage. Really, just fucking awesome.

This sounds like a fucking Motorhead song or something. Probably an insult to Motorhead, that one, but seeing as the band knows how to play “Ace of Spades” I refuse to rule it out. Just fun, sleazy over the top stadium metal or something. After a few days off from Ween and coming at this from the new perspective of someone who genuinely appreciates what Ween contributes to the world of music (took a couple albums but I got there, OK?), I’ve noticed it’s a place I needed to get to appreciate something like what I think Quebec is going to be like. Right off the bat it feels like a return to the weirdness that made’em famous. And I’m diggin’ on that. Also, I notice that Josh Freese played drums on this record which begs the question: Is Josh Freese from fucking Mars because what album HASN’T that guy played on?

“Transdermal Celebration”

An unfuckwithable jam, as we say in the biz. Well, I say that in the biz, or did when I was working at a college radio station. "Unfuckwithable Monster Jam" would have been more like it if I'd written this album up. Can you fuck with this one? No, not really. Practically tailor made for a goddamn greatest hits collection. Also, how did I work at a college radio station for 3.5 years and not get into Ween? It's embarassing, really. I just associated them with that awful jamband show. I FEEL BAD ABOUT THIS.

I just read a quote from Gener that says “All that jam band shit makes me want to puke.” PHEW! Another great straight-up Ween track that sounds like it belongs on a greatest hits collection. Maybe track 3. It’s kind of weird seeing Ween moving further and further away from their roots. This isn’t a bad thing at all, because it seems natural to move away from your roots, right? Like a tree or a plant or something? Certainly, it’s not always successful (ok, probably rarely successful in bands) but Ween pulls the whole maturity thing off. This is a thoroughly listenable song that feels just as valid as anything they’ve ever released.

Day 11: August 24, 2011

“Tried and True”

Old creepy Gene Ween returns to sing a song that has to probably be about his divorce (since, according to the web, a bunch of these songs are about that because good god divorce is like a record album goldmine ok?).

“Chocolate Town”

I love that this is like, Ween gracefully entering middle age. A soft-rock jam about buying drugs in the ghetto. STAY CLASSY WEEN!

Lots of weird stuff on this album, but Gener’s straight-laced emotional jams still keep hitting me in the guts. This album feels like a sleeper hit. Once Ween is dead and gone (if they ever die, who knows) and looking at their discography as a whole, this feels like it’ll be a stand-out. An incredibly worthy follow-up to White Pepper which, looking at that album right now, is laced with so many ear worms it’s a wonder I don’t have fucking tumors on my brain. “Chocolate Town” is almost a throwback to 12 Golden Country Greats grafted onto some soft rock vibes. It’s a breezy, and utterly nice song about buying drugs. Pretty sure it’s not about poop sex, which was my initial thought which is weird because it could just as well have been a song about Hershey, Pennsylvania seeing as the brothers Ween hail from the Keystone State.

“I Don’t Want It”

Fuck this one is so good. Shit shit shit. "I understand it/ But I don't want it." Been there, done that. Perfect compliment to that whole sort of thing. Again, WHO FUCKING KNEW these guys had something like this locked up inside? Or maybe I was supposed to have known all along. Maybe I should have listened to all their albums in reverse but then again, revisiting the early stuff is much more of a treat knowing the outcome.

Another fucking tender Gener jam to bring the stupid house down. I realize that every album can only have like, two or so of these and I accept that. An album of these would be too much. It would cheapen the tunes, which are usually strategically placed towards the latter half of the album to pull the rug out from under you, remind you that these guys are incredibly deft album-smiths and well, you start to see the hype and the living up to it. A divorce album staple.

Day 12: August 28, 2011

“If You Could Save Yourself (You’d Save Us All)”

I don't know why I thought Quebec would somehow be a lesser Ween album. Maturity suits them incredibly well, again again again WHO FUCKING KNEW?! Feeling like a failure.

Oh man, this IS a divorce record, isn’t it? A pretty triumphant, heart wrenching finale right here. It’s intense. It’s over the top and it NEEDS to be over the top. The imagery is depressing and sad, like you’d expect, and the melody follows suit but there’s that underpinning monster hook in the chorus that makes all the sad bastard pop songs in history sing-a-long toe-tappers. “The trash caught fire when the leaves turned brown/ The vultures were circling when the circus left town/ I left you a note but I wrote it in disappearing ink.” Depressing. Divorcey. Probably the most emotional highlight of Ween’s long, storied career. Looking at this sweeping, orchestral heartbreaker, it’s hard to even remember what GodWeenSatan: The Oneness sounds like, and I think that’s Ween’s greatest asset. A discography that has been ever-changing while remaining true to itself. And that’s why millions of people love Ween. And that’s why I love Ween. This is honest music, and even when it’s fucked up and weird, it’s fucking real.

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