Review ·

If the rumors are true and we're dealing with a clean and sober Ween, then these are troubled times, indeed. After  eight albums and two masterful and expletive-laden Pizza Hut jingles, the brothers Ween need to strap on that jammy pac to have any chance of coming up with something new. The title track on the Friends EP, Dean and Gene's first new release since 2003's Quebec, is an appropriation of a Pet Shop Boys dance number, with brilliantly simple lyrics like "A friend's a friend who knows what being a friend is." It's jarring, for sure, but it's an interesting stretch for Ween, which has never done roller-disco-meets-gay-bar electronica before. On "I Got to Put the Hammer Down," Ween goes the complete opposite direction, channeling Gibby Haynes and a drum machine.

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Of all the Ween-isms, of all the Boognishes that can rise, the worst of all are the pitch-shifted vocals. But second worst is when Gene decides to put on a Mexican voice, as he does on "King Billy," a sort of Inner Circle version of the band's own "Nicole" from Godweensatan (1990). "Light It Up" is essentially Ween taking the common denominator from Santana's "Smooth" and six or seven Ricky Martin songs and putting funny nonsense lyrics over the music instead of the plain old nonsense of the others.

 

One of the band's great strengths has always been its ability to absorb genre archetypes and spit out brilliant, form-perfect niche songs with lyrics that made it okay to like the song's campiness. They seem to have packed up that cleverness with their Scotchgard bongs and headed straight for the wishy-washy world of adult contemporary without even knowing it.

 

What happens when a perennially immature band grows up? Clearly, Dean and Gene Ween can't put their finger on it.

 

***

Band: http://www.ween.com

Label: http://www.schnitzel.co.uk

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/ween

  • Friends
  • I Got to Put the Hammer Down
  • King Billy
  • Light Me Up
  • Slow Down Boy
Yesterdays New Quintet - Yesterdays Universe Shout Out Louds Tonight I Have to Leave It
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Are you kidding me? Dude, you don't get it. THAT is what's going on.

Jeremy

Ween is to music what words are to poetry. Boundless and undefinable subjectively. Maybe this guy should stick to reviewing Avril Lavigne.

Clinton

Sorry Charlie, thesaurus-assisted opprobriums don't convey accuracy. It's one thing when a band loses their quality and a completely different thing when a fan's ear drums don't beat to the band's latest or latent evolution. Their genius has hardly been compromised, only your ability to digest the melodic-frosting. - If you're still listening to the albums that meet your standards, let me just say, Don't $hit where you eat.

Justin

strap on that there jaminy pack and slide a double dime your way.

Big Jilm

3/5 stars ladies, I like tracks 2-3 and thats it. King Billy is the 'Mexi-Cali' highlight for this little EP. Friends is fun, but might work for kids show soundtrack. The last song is a total piss take imo.

Billy (King)

Adult contemporary? You joking? The Friends song is a House send-up and Slow Down Boy is 80s Brit New Wave. And King Billy is Jamaican style, not Mexican, smart guy.

Biff Rose

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