Thursday, January 22, 2009

Semi-Classic Album of the Week #10: Ween - "The Mollusk"

It's been three weeks since I did this feature. I think one could judge my periods of stress and relationship troubles by my periods of inconsistency in following through with projects. Airtight alibi concluded, let's jump right in with:

Ween - The Mollusk (1999)

An album that's pretty hard to discount, incorporating the sensibilities of acid-dropping psychers, iconoclastic noiserockers and classic rock enthusiasts (more like a freaked-out Floyd meets Genesis than the rawer stuff they mimicked later on). The drug elements (or at least the perception of drug elements) seem pretty essential to Ween's mythos; they certainly make no effort to shake the associations, filling their album with warping, inebriated sound effects and high-as-a-kite lyrics.

So it seems fitting that the most remarkable moments on this album are the trippiest - the opening, pitch-shifted piano confidence booster, transcendent, hilarious title track or unforgettable "Mutilated Lips."

They pull off some seriously epic, "in-accordance-with-prophecy" moments as well ("Buckingham Green", "The Golden Eel", "She Wanted To Leave"). Nothing about this album is manufactured - it's tuneful, fresh and exciting. Still, Ween has a way of being crude even when they aren't trying to (I seriously have a hard time not seeing a vulva in that cover art). This arcane sense of ribaldry is undeniably part of their charm, but the more sensitive among you may wish to consider a reburn of the disc sans a coupla tracks before playing it in the car with the kids. Anyway, to each his own - This is a great album I can easily put up with anything else I've reviewed. I should have gotten to it earlier.

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