Ween

Pure Guava

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By 1993's major label debut Pure Guava, Ween had distilled their unique mix of eclectic pop and crazed humor to its essence. GodWeenSatan: The Oneness and The Pod were fascinating, but occasionally frustrating albums; at 19 songs, Pure Guava is more polished and concise, but it's still sprawling and occasionally sick, featuring the fuzzed-out "Touch My Tooter" and the five-minute noise-burst "Mourning Glory," a tale of pumpkin-smoking gone horribly awry. Though "I Play It Off Legit" -- a muttered conversation set to atmospheric keyboards -- and the rhythmic, bass-heavy "The Goin' Gets Tough From The Getgo" could have appeared on The Pod, most of Pure Guava's songs have a poppy, accessible sheen. Fragmented, distorted tracks like "Big Jilm," "Flies On My Dick" and the live favorite "Poop Ship Destroyer" benefit from the album's cleaner production, giddily mixing catchiness and silliness. If The Pod was influenced by the band's Scotchguard habit, Pure Guava sounds like it was recorded while Dean and Gene were huffing helium; it's fast, shiny and crisp, particularly on the hyper rant "Pumpin' 4 the Man" and the minor alternative rock hit "Push Th' Little Daisies." Ween's prog-rock fascination surfaces on "The Stallion, Pt. 3" and on "Don't Get 2 Close To My Fantasy," which sports wonderfully inane lyrics like "Stare into the lion's eyes / And if you taste the candy / You'll get to the surprise." In the midst of this weirdness, the sweet, seemingly genuine ballad "Sarah" feels like the album's strangest song. With Pure Guava, Ween moved away from the snippets of random craziness that defined their first two albums toward a more organized style. Considering Elektra released it, it's just as uncompromising as their previous work, but it hints at just how much further they could go with their music.

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