earCandy: Ween - Shinola Vol. 1 (2005) 4/5
Shinola Vol. 1, as the name suggests, is the first in a series of albums. These albums collect various outtakes, oddities, and rarites from one of the most prolific "college" bands that has graced the airwaves of campus radio and the CD players of freaks everywhere. As bizarre and varied as Ween is, it's somewhat understandable how these tracks, as great as some of them are, did not fit on the band's other albums - though, strangely enough, they seem to fit well on an album with one another. I've been exposed to a few of these before (e.g. the Prince-inspired "Monique the Freak" which, frankly, is the only song on the album for which I enjoy the earlier version better than the more newly re-produced version - I just didn't need the Stephen Hawkings on crank version of the chorus) and I'm happy to hear these tunes given the production they deserve on a formal release. Then there are the tracks that I've never heard - the rockin' "Gabrielle", the tongue-in-cheek (actually, everything Ween does is tongue-in-cheek) flamingly flamboyant "Boy's Club", the Jewish-wedding jazz tune "Israel", and the Pink Floyd-ish "Did You See Me?".
Ween defines themselves with equal parts of eclecticism and offensiveness, and this may not be appealing to the general public. However, if you're the type that enjoys the irreverent, juxtaposed strangeness that is Ween, then by all means, haul out the Scotch-Guard and enjoy ;-) .
PS: This album is only available for order online from Ween's website, which is just fine. I got mine (in Canada!) within a couple of weeks and I like knowing that the $14 is going straight to the band - after 15 years of crazy albums, fantastic stage shows (they are just about the best band I have ever seen live), and endless self-abuse, Dean and Gene deserve it :-) .
10/31/2005 10:01:00 PM