CD Reviews

Published on June 21st, 2007 | by The Monarch

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Ween — The Friends EP

My Copy of Ween’s The Friends EP just arrived yesterday, an appetizer to their soon to be released full length album. At only 5 tracks long and 19 minutes in length there isn’t much to be said about it, yet so much to say. It’s hard to pick which direction Ween is set to take with their new album, this could be a sign of things to come or could be a complete curve ball and the album is something else entirely.

The Friends EP, simply put, is a bit of feel good fun with some funky beats. Each track is very different whilst all leaning towards a more electronic/funk backbone. The title track Friends sounds like something you would hear in a dance club back in 1995. To put it bluntly this song is gay, really gay, but Ween still pull it off in true brown form. I mean the chorus is simply “A friend’s a friend who knows what being a friend is, as friends we were so close, friend’s in life are special, do you want me as your special friend, because you’re the friend I’ve been searching for”.

The second track, I Got To Put The Hammer Down is the only one to be played so far on their 2007 American tour, it’s similar to the first with it’s dance beats, think Monique the Freak from the Shinola CD.

King Billy is Ween’s venture into Reggae, actually the first 30 seconds of the song leads you to believe it’ll be anything but Reggae but then it heads on down to another King of the Tubby variety territory. This is the long track on the album you see, clocking in at just under six mins. The music almost has a Ska like ring to it as well, still electronic in sound, but it’s almost what would happen if Madness and King Tubby formed a band. There is also a throwback to the Ween of old, reminiscent of tracks like Big Jilm where there is just utterly annoying yet awesome sounds tacked into the song, the outro sounds like utter distortion but could also be described as Cookie Monster running out of batteries whilst playing the kazoo.

Ween invites you to Tango with them in “Light Me Up”. This is definitely Bananas and Blow meets Buenas Tardes Amigo with Gener once again making you believe he is from Spanish or Mexican descent instead of a pasty-arsed fishboy from PA. This is a really cool sounding track though. The guitar really is playing the part of the trumpet on this one, but the drum beats are definitely Bananas and Blow-ish.

Rounding out the EP is the touching Slow Down Boy which is a throw back to something you’d hear on Quebec. This breaks the mode from the rest of the CD, it’s not electronic sounding, it’s soft and sounds like it’s an extremely cheesy 80s ballad, lyrics such as “Slow down boy, he’s breaking your heart, his innocence will tear you apart, his love is yours, you don’t have to hurry, you have all the time in the world” are really just cheese, but Ween can once again get away with this in style.

Overall, it’s nothing compared to some classic Ween releases, but then again I don’t think it’s meant to be, it achieves it’s goal of being 19 incredibly short but entertaining and fun minutes of music. As the boys themselves say:

“It is the ultimate party record, filled with good beats and good times. Perfect for your barbecue or doing bong hits or whatever it is that you guys do.”

They also add this word of warning about downloading the EP:

“If you download it or burn a copy from a friend your karma will be so fucked that you will be reincarnated as a tumor on a rat’s ass. We put a lot of time into this, like 4 years. What is that 9.5 months a song or something? You’re gonna buy it on iTunes? No way. Seriously though, you’re gonna love it.”

My own two cents though about Ween and their views on download, they fucking rock. They set up this website http://www.browntracker.net/ which pretty much encourages people to record their live shows and put them on this site to share with everyone.

The Friends EP is out now and available for order on Ween’s website – http://www.ween.com/chocodog/ween/


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