Songs: The Blarney Stone; It’s Gonna Be (Alright)
Album: The Mollusk
I don’t know my sea chanteys all that well, but this is probably the best I ever heard. It’s one thing to parody or riff on something, but Ween are so good here that you wonder if they might be taking it seriously. Sure, it’s goofy, and the subject matter is less than trenchant, but the stylistic parody/homage sounds pretty good, and I’ll be durned if it isn’t catchy.
And now, what better way to demonstrate the variant song styles of the album than with the subsequent track? Pirate groghouse jam followed by tender ballad? Ween are a most definitely a couple of jokesters, but it sounds like they’re playing this one straight. It’s genuinely moving, even heartbreaking, without being maudlin. And, if indeed it is tongue-in-cheek, well, they certainly fooled me, and good on them.
I’m not a fan of Ween, and I’m not sure I’d even this as a favorite album; that being said, The Mollusk is, front to back, hyperbole not included, a solid album. The different styles and sounds all seem like it’d be mere gimmick, especially given some of the lyrical content, except they’re so good at it, they blur the line between joke and sincerity. Important, impressive mention must also be made of their overall versatility in imitating vocal styles, especially when you remember it’s just two guys.
Check out this sweet performance by Gene Ween, he’s so happy at the end: