Shinola Vol.1 Best of, Explicit Lyrics
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Originally released by Ween's own Chocodog label, SHINOLA VOL.1 is the first in a series of rarities collections by the ever-wacky Pennsylvania-based duo. Here Dean and Gene Ween's giddy, genre-hopping sound careens from distorted lo-fi ditties (the biza
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Reviewing music is silly anyway, 'cause one man's trash is another man's all-time favorite album, but I don't think potential listeners should be viewing this as a 5 star album.
Since I discovered the Brothers Boognish I became an immediate disciple and began to try and track down every song or snippet of noise that they put to tape. 40 or 50 bootlegs later I gave up trying to document their entire live catalogue but I figured I'd still be able to find all of their B-Sides and rarities on my own and I have several compilation CDs of rough quality tracks to show for my efforts.
When I heard Ween was to release an official compilation of rarities I was as giddy a school girl, as any new release from the Brothers is a welcome event. However, I was a bit pissed off that `lesser fans' would, in the time it took them to purchase a copy of `Shinola', be able to hear songs that took me months to track down. I was also a bit reluctant to purchase a collection of songs I already had in one form or another.
Well, all of my worries were for naught. First, this disc includes tracks even I hadn't already heard, such as the hilarious Jewish jazz funk rant `Israel' and the delicious slow burner "I Fell in Love Today". And the songs that I already had have been re-mastered and sound as crisp as any of Ween's newer releases and put my old mp3s to shame. As such it can stand up against any of their albums, evening outshining 1 or 2 of them. The closest point of reference in my mind would be `Chocolate & Cheese', an album which heralded a cleaner production in their sound with more fully realized songs but which lacked none of the weirdness which made their earlier material so endearing. Like C&C, `Shinola' is all over the map style wise, but there's never any doubt to whose record this is. `Brown' is what we've come to expect from Ween and with Shinola we get a big steaming pile of Poop.
Brown would be the descriptive term when labeling the first cut, "Tastes Good on th' Bun". That and "Big Fat Fu*k" sound like classic freak-out songs from "God Ween Satan" or "The Pod". Then you get the opposite end of the spectrum with gorgeous songs like "I Fell in Love Today", the hypnotic "Did You See Me?", the avante garde "Israel", or the sultry "Someday". Those songs are more progressive and chilled out. Then you get your hard rockers like "Monique the Freak" with a gnarly guitar solo from Dean, or the Thin Lizzy inflicted "Gabrielle" (which is my current favorite). "Boys Club" is a fun little pop tune with insanely catchy elements. "How High Can You Fly" and "Transitions" sound the closest to "White Pepper" or "Quebec", so there is really something here for everyone.
"Shinola, Vol. 1" is another fine addition to Ween's already classic discography. If you are into the band at all, I have no doubt you will enjoy it. For new listeners, I would probably recommend "Chocolate and Cheese" or "The Mollusk" first, but this one is right up there. The bottom line is...don't sleep on this fine record; it's pure gold.