I sampled a few of Ween's tunes a while back but, mainly because their albums are hard to come by in this country at anywhere near a good price, I only today bought my first album by them, White Pepper. Now, I have a question for all of youse. Why, whenever I went on about all my problems with modern pop music, did no one bring up these guys?! I have only listened to this album once but, man, is it a goody. It pretty much checks off all of the problems that I like to bring up in my anti-modern music rants.
Diversity in both style and emotion? Check.
Genuine, honest to goodness pop HOOKS? Check.
Real musicianship? Check.
A sense of fun and emotions that range beyond mopey or angry? Check.
An inviting, organic sound? Check (pretty much).
Now, I suppose that it's not that original but to their credit, Ween certainly don't sound like any other band. Also, not every song is necessarily a winner. The instrumental Ice Castles is something of a waste of space, the Gopher is a merely decent Zeppelin/ Sabbathish number and because I don't really like speed metal Stroker Ace isn't really my cup of tea, though it is done well enough. And again to their credit, the album is perfectly sequenced having the best songs at the beginning and end of the album, leaving the relatively weaker ones in the middle (though Back to Basam is brilliant).
What really impresses though is the formidable songwriting skills on display here. The boys really know their way around a melody in a way that, based on what I've heard, they're probably the closest that any modern band has ever come to the melodic genius of Lennon/ McCartney, Jagger/ Richards, Townshend, Davies, Wilson etc. Again, from my experiences at least.
A special mention also has to got to Dean's guitar playing ability. The guy's not half bad.
Now to hunt down the rest of their catalog at a decent price. I assume I should start with their albums from Chocolate and Cheese on as their first few albums are somewhat less accessible.
Any fans of the band here?