Ween

The Pod

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Another collection of inspired pop pastiche and four-track dementia, 1991's The Pod is nearly as long as GodWeenSatan: The Oneness but even weirder and more deranged, due in large part to the band's Scotchguard habit and the severe cases of mononucleosis Gene and Dean Ween contracted while recording the album. As a result, The Pod is dark and murky, with a slightly distant, fuzzy feel. On some songs, such as the cryptic, prog-inspired "Right to the Ways and the Rules of the World," the psych-tinged "Dr. Rock," and the mystic hard rock of "Captain Fantasy," this sound works well, but on others -- like the opening track "Strap on That Jammypac" -- it just doesn't fit. Ween flexes their stylistic chops a bit on "Sorry Charlie"'s country-rock, "Sketches of Winkle"'s crazed speed metal, "Oh My Dear"'s cute four-track, and "Pork Roll Egg and Cheese"'s Beatlesque psych-pop, but the majority of The Pod, for better or worse, focuses on sludgy weirdness like "Molly," "Awesome Sound," "Laura," and "Can U Taste the Waste?" That most of these songs are grouped together in the middle of the album makes them even more strange and impenetrable -- though they may make more sense under the influence of Scotchguard or other, heavier, chemicals. Where GodWeenSatan: The Oneness' sense of fun and experimentation was contagious, The Pod is insular; you can tell that Dean and Gene had a fun -- or at least bizarre -- time making the album, but it doesn't translate. Though it does feature a few of Ween's best songs, The Pod is easily their most difficult work. However, hardcore fans will still find digging through its messy sprawl worthwhile.

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