It’s gonna be a long Friday night. Well, not so long as eventful and..what’s the word? ‘divergent” will suffice, I think. Ween are a difficult band to preach to the unbeliever, they’re that guy you’ve known since High School who is not only no-holds-barred hilarious, but his filterless and inappropriate comedic instincts (while seemingly oblivious to societal norms and the due diligence and restraint the rest of us instinctively employ) are derived from a place of rich cultural, intellectual and emotional intelligence. While he’s an anomalous, aberrant champion in this ridiculous existence 99% of the time, this is regularly lost on the general populace. There’ll inevitably be an occasion when you invite him to a house party and he’s already dispensed with the sixpack he threaded through his belt on the walk there, and he hot-knifes all the resin of one of the guests who couldn’t skin it up on his own, before being suddenly inspired to display his acumen for Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, but No Can Do; he attempts to execute the 7 foot, lightbulb-obliterating scissor-kick but misses spectacularly, the momentum of his upswung leg sending him collapsing onto the sofa behind him full of previously giggling girls , whereupon he’s instinctively repelled into a nearby Yucca plant before receiving a bony toed barefoot kick to the cheekbone by the middle class guy who looks – with his blond surfer curtains – like an understudy for that LBJ Ex President out of ‘Point Break’ (’91). You’re permitted to stay, but he of course has to go, so you naturally pledge inebriated allegiance to the exile and wander off together urinating into the cooling evening breeze onto the nocturnal golf course to climb trees and scream at the stars and divulge your innermost torments.
Something like that.
After the initial razor blades and speed, the Motorhead pretensions of ‘It’s Gonna Be a Long night’ are immediately deflated with second track ‘Zoloft’ which manages to soporifically sound like both a not-too-unlikely ‘chill-out-zone’ flavoured commercial for the eponymous ‘product’ and some sort of Soma den from a bad 90s Sci Fi film. A pattern is forming with the moderately adult-oriented-rocking euphorics of ‘Transdermal Celebration’, which glide into a thermal surfing chorus, before the solo played on a guitar temporarily kidnapped from Carlos Santana propels you into the stratosphere where the ‘Jets fly in formation’, and thanks to their synthesized representation approaching then roaring overhead, I can see them. The album winds is circuitous path through the suburban paranoia of ‘So Many People in the Neighborhood’ which tiptoes them stomps terrifyingly at your front door with it’s “HOW’S ABOUT A PIECE OF PIE? DING-DING, DONG-DONG!” mantra, before heading into the ridiculous sounding synth and pitch-shifted guitar vaudeville of the self-mocking musician in ‘Hey There Fancy Pants’, the dying sun of the author’s tour of strung-out ‘Chocolate Town’, and the monumental psychedelic self-mythologizing of Ween’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (don’t let that put you off) ‘The Argus’, which meanders around crepuscular beginnings into a progression which blossoms spectacularly into garlic and orchids and takes off into the breathtaking heavens of its divine climax, before giving way to the show stopping, realisation-reaching ‘If You Could Save yourself (You’d Save Us All)’.
‘Quebec’ is the matured and finely honed jewel in the Brown Crown; absurd, hilarious, poignant, astutely observed sniper-scoped satire via the underlying confessional at its broken-heart.
Daniel, pluck us something funghi or funky from your record cellar dwelling.
Chester Whelks is a peripheral figure on the fringes of existence. Predominantly bothering the local music scene of his native Manchester, England, he has a very finely attuned Justice-button, and knows how to call a spade a ‘Multi-Purpose Murder/Concealment Device’.