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Sat, Dec. 07

MP3 review: Ween's 'La Cucaracha'

Ween, everyone's favorite Generation X band for weirdos, has released a new album entitled, "La Cucaracha."

Being a Grade A weirdo, I went and watched Ween's opening concert for their latest tour. It was great. Their new album features songs from a variety of genres, including progressive rock, reggae, electronica, country, and folk. The album has a very 1980s feel.

Why cover so many genres from another era? Well, Ween is famous for showing off their musical skills, and ability to spoof everything. As a reviewer for Rhapsody.com once wrote, the band is famous for songs featuring childish potty humor. Dean and Gene Ween are the two stars of the band, and are famous for being stranger than the average rock star.

- Here's the tracks worth checking out:

- "Woman and Man" - This 10-minute track is easily the best song on the album. "Woman and Man" is Ween's tribute to 1970s progressive rock. Dean Ween shows off his superb guitar soloing skills in this one, despite the eccentric two-minute intro. The first real rock verse of this song reminds me of a mix between Rush and Led Zeppelin. After the second verse, Dean drops into a wicked Santana-like solo at the 4:40 mark, and twists it into grinding, distorted, three-minute solo.

- "Shamemaker" - The audience loved this song more than any other, most likely because it's Ween's attempt to cover the trendy "ska" played by bands like Blink 182. It's tough to tell whether they're spoofing bands like Blink 182, or if they're singing in lame California surfer accents for a reason. The solo by Dean Ween is okay, but the live version was a heck of a lot better because the band amped up the speed, bass and drums.

- "Lullaby" - This song is a departure from the mainstream. The lyrics feature descriptions of a baby floating through the air, and in its mother's arms. It truly is a song which someone could fall asleep to.

- "Object" - This is Ween's anti-love song. It has a good folksy feel, and it almost sounds like he's going to recant his heartless lyrics. "Dreams don't always come when you fall asleep, you're just an object to me."

- "Learnin' to Love" - This might be Ween's best tribute to a Bob Dylan song. The song is filled with confusing sports gambling analogies, and I'm pretty sure it isn't supposed to make sense. At times, it sounds like an upbeat country song, but drops into a strange solo with heavy vocal effects.

- "The Fruit Man" - Ween's attempt at spoofing reggae. It's kind of weird to hear two Canadians trying to sound Jamaican, but they actually do a decent job at it. The lyrics tell a confusing tale about how a fruit vendor is arguing with a fish vendor.

- "With My Own Bare Hands" - This is the heavy rock song of the album. It's fully of dirty lyrics, power chords, screaming, and innuendo. If you don't enjoy offensive lyrics and innuendo, I recommend that you avoid this one. If you like grunge rock and don't have a problem with profanity, then this one's for you.

(Listen to samples of La Cucaracha at Amazon.com.)

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