For all of us who slept on the bus and thus failed to jump on the limited edition Ween 1996-2000 vinyl box set that dropped last September, don't fret, because all three Ween albums are now available for individual sale, finally! Personally speaking, I feel like I've been waiting for ages, however patiently, to get my paws on The Mollusk, pressed on 180 gram lushly marbled turquoise vinyl no less. The other two albums in the series of three released this week include 12 Golden Country Greats and White Pepper, also pressed on 180 gram colored vinyl, brown and white I believe, respectively. Happiness!
Like many others to come of age in the early nineties, Ween played an important part in my grasping a hold of reality and flinging it as far as I imagined I could away from the mundane commonplace-ness of everyday happenings. I was first exposed to the idiot dance of Ween's Pure Guava by a small, motley crew of arty stoners I'd sometimes roll home with after school for lack of anything better to do. It didn't take long for me to need Ween; I became a fast fan when I discovered that their kooky alterna-jams are the best thing to listen to when everyone else around you is high and all you wanna do is interpretive dance. It helped that MTV liked them too and that, what with the awful death of Headbangers Ball, 120 Minutes made Ween's "Push th' Little Daisies" video a played out hit. I thought Ween could never top themselves after Pure Guava. I mean, Chocolate and Cheese is fun and 12 Golden Country Greats is a pants-ripping hoot and everything, but The Mollusk is, in my opinion, Ween's finest work to date.
The Mollusk was to be a return to home recording for Gene and Dean Ween. They gathered up their gear and rented a beach house on the Jersey Shore to begin work on the album only to shelve it for a bit after a pipe burst, flooding the then unoccupied house, greatly damaging much of the band's equipment and thus making it difficult to salvage their recordings. After recording 12 Country Greats in Nashville, Ween returned to work on the drowned beginnings of The Mollusk, something of a concept album, as every song is drenched in dark nautical notions and ocean themes, heavy on the progressive rock influence yet splashed with the usual array of genre-informed quips and psychedelic quarries. Finished in 1996, The Mollusk was released in 1997 to critical acclaim despite its uncertain and disastrous beginnings. In the words of Dean Ween, "I will say that the only record that I ever felt really confident about was The Mollusk. That's my favorite record we've ever done."
Ween live on MTV:
and live Public Access jams too!