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WEEN Quebec(Sanctuary SANCD135) (2003)

Formed back in 1984 by Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman, Ween have built a large and loyal following. This is the first album I've heard by the band, bar the song 'The Rainbow' on the South Park album. Boy are this band weird! Opener 'It's Gonna Be A Long Night' is played at Motorhead speed and even has a lyric Lemmy would be proud of 'You bring the razor blade I'll bring the speed'. Then there are slowed vocals on 'Tried and True' over an acoustic backdrop making it sound like a slowed down Moody Blues track! But this is not a tribute album and Ween have some superb acoustic country rock in the shape of 'Chocolate Town', song of the album for me, and 'Transdermal Celebration'.

Ween certainly know a good tune and have harmonies down to pat. Even Noel Coward gets a nod on 'Hey There Fancy Pants', a song well suited to the Divine Comedy or even Queen. Not all the songs hit home though with 'Zoloft' and 'Among His Tribe' letting the overall quality down. Closing the album is 'If You Could Save Yourself', which could have come of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' as the vocal is very reminiscent of Roger Waters.

Not your average band and certainly not your average album. Takes a few plays to fully appreciate it all and it is well worth the effort.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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