CD Review of Shinola Volume I by Ween

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Shinola Volume I
starstarstarstarno star Label: Chocodog Records
Released: 2006
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Ween, in a word, is fucked. Ween records are fucked, but in a good way because they explore more musical variance then most bands do in an entire career. In their chameleon-like fashion, they can assume the sound of any genre that the muse inspires. As varied as their sound is, their lyrics are equally bizarre…bordering on parody…while comfortably surfing the waves of the absurd.

Shinola Volume I is a collection of rarities that have been lying around the Ween studio collecting dust. As usual, it has quite the range of different sounds, styles and musical terrain. The opening track “Tastes Good on Th’ Bun” features a whole bunch of percussion and that refrain over and over. In a similar tone, “Big Fat Fuck” sounds like the theme music for Jabba the Hut, with a funky exaggerated beat and a heavy voice effect growling out the title repeatedly. Contrast that material with “Boys Club,” which sounds like a lounge band meets SpongeBob. Interestingly enough, “Ocean Man,” an older Ween track, was included in the SpongeBob movie and on the soundtrack (speaking of completely fucked).

“I Fell in Love Today” has a blues vibe with a touch of the Beatles in the John Lennon like vocal delivery. “How High Can You Fly” and “Did You See Me” have Pink Floyd acoustical roots. “Israel” sounds like it could be played at a barmitzvah, and “Monique” elicits the funk of Prince.

Shinola Volume I may be a collection of odds and ends, but it sounds like your typically twisted but wonderfully executed Ween record. Some folks might really hate the band’s complete disregard for genre consistency, but I think the consistency of excellent musicianship holds the insanity together. This is very cool, very fun and very, um, fucked record. Enjoy!

~R. David Smola