Originally released in 2000, White Pepper, is one of the Pennsylvania duo's finest recordings. Gene and Dean Ween are outsider pop geniuses in the greatest sense of the term, brilliant musicians with a firm grasp on just about every popular genre in the last 50 years (brit-pop, prog, country, soul, new wave, and beyond) and a quirk streak a mile wide. Another Ween classic reissued on 180 gram vinyl from Plain Recordings.
When Ween released their debut, God Ween Satan
, in 1990, the question on most listeners' minds was "Are they serious?" Ten years later, White Pepper
has folks asking "Are they joking?" No, as evidenced by the straightforward pop that makes up their eighth studio effort. This isn't a sellout, but a continuation of the sound explored on their previous release, The Mollusk
. Songs like "Even If You Don't" and "Back to Basom" are respective nods to their McCartney and Lennon joneses, and even more stunningly, the brothers Ween bust out their most irony-free love song yet, "Stay Forever." The boys haven't completely abandoned the silly--the Caribbean-flavored "Bananas and Blow" and the Steely Dan-influenced "Pandy Fackler" are good for giggles--but the "more pop, less poop" rule remains in effect, leaving room for majestic tastiness like "Flutes of Chi" and "The Grobe." All in all, a fantastic salute to rock & roll. --Jason Josephes