Ween – The Mollusk (1997)

Fucking Ween. Where to fucking begin. I’d like to pretend I’d been a Ween fan forever but fact is, it wasn’t until around 02 or 03 that I noticed them. It was 1994’s Chocolate and Cheese. I was a regular on the old Primus Bullboard (RIP, Primus Sucks!) and these two bands had always been mentioned in close proximity to each other, especially as they both sort of dabbled in the jam band scene. Someone recommended I listen to “Freedom of 76”. I was hooked. I was enamored of this new band I’d discovered. Each song was different on this record and just so well done. I was feeling like I did when I first discovered Frank Zappa. I was and still am so into talented acts that eschew the norm to create art they want.

I am fortunate to have caught them a few times live. In fact, one of my favorite live music experience is seeing them twice in Chicago in 2017. They played two nights just them, “an evening with…”. The coolest part was each set was COMPLETELY different and unique. Not ONE repeated song. Even better, if you made it to only one or the other, you felt you LUCKED OUT. Their catalog, as a fan, is so fucking great that you loved the 2+ hours of music you got regardless if a song or two you loved wasn’t there. They are one of my more favorite bands and I listen to nearly everything they have released with a smile on my face. So talented and goddamn fantastic live.

I started digging into their catalog and figured the next best stop would be their next record, The Mollusk. From the first track on I was hooked. The opener “I’m Dancing in the Show Tonight” is such a goofy little intro tune but also weirdly endearing as almost anyone creating art or doing something out of their comfort zone sort of goes through that check before they start.

Does my shuffle step really look so good?
Am I doing it the way you think I should?
Would it be amiss if I blew a kiss
When I’m dancing in the show tonight?

It’s presented so weirdly but you can feel the sort of vulnerability that exists before a performance.

The rest of the record is just so lush and all over the place. The Mollusk track itself is full of wonderful synths, flutes and strange mystical lyrics.

You see there are three things that spur the mollusk from the sand
The waking of all creatures that live on the land
And with just one faint glance, back into the sea
The mollusk lingers, with it’s wandering eye

Going through each track individually would take more forever and honestly, I’d rather give you a taste of what I love and let you go on that journey.

Other favorites are the strange Polka Dot Tail and Mutilated Lips. The mighty Golden Eel and Buckingham Green. The heartfelt It’s Gonna be Alright, Cold Blows the Wind and She Wanted to Leave (Which you can hear more about here on my friend Joey Hooslefudge’s Ween-centric show on YouTube)

If you haven’t listened to it or any Ween, I think this would be a great starting point. Some fun facts about this album gleaned from the Ween Wikipedia page. The song Ocean Man appears in The SpongeBob Movie and the creator of SpongeBob himself credits this record with helping influence the show. Also, Dean Ween considers it “my favorite record we’ve ever done.” I think I’m on the same page.

Thanks for reading. If you have any feedback or would like to see other aspects of the records I post about discussed, let me know! I am treating this blog as if it’s just you and I gentle reader, hanging out and talking about what does it for me with these records. I appreciate you coming through. Until next time!

Here is a YouTube link to just one of my favorites off this record: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5K_w9Tbhoc (BONUS: It’s a fan made LEGO video!)

Here is a link to the Discogs release for the vinyl nerds among you: https://www.discogs.com/Ween-The-Mollusk/release/2159393




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