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The Dean Ween Group – Rock 2 review

Genre:  ROCK

Released by: Schnitzel Records

Release date: 27th April 2018

Line up:

Dean Ween, – Guitar,

Glen McClelland, – Keyboards,

Dave Dreiwitz, – Bass,

Claude Coleman Jnr, – Drums,

With:

Joe Kramer / Michael Hampton / Bill Fowler / Mike Dillon / Anibel Rojas / Scott Redner / Michael Jude

John-Michel / Ray Kubian / Alexis Moon / Michael Huetz / Rich Scanella / John Moore / Ralph Liberto

Electric Six / Marc Schmidt-Casdorff / Gabe Monago / Erica Rubine

 Tracklist:

  1. Showstopper
  2. Fingerbangin’
  3. Don’t Let the Moon Catch You Crying
  4. Waste Station 9
  5. Love Theme from Skinheads Knicking Your Ass
  6. Someone Greased the Fatman
  7. The Ritz Carlton
  8. The Heart of Palm
  9. Yellow Pontiac
  10. Pussy on my Pillow
  11. Sunset of Belmar

Best known as one half of the band Ween, ‘ROCK 2’, which was released on 27th April of this year is Dean Ween’s second solo record and one that he says he’s pretty proud of. 

First impressions of this album are pretty good being previously unfamiliar with both ‘Ween’ and the ‘Dean Ween Group’.  “Showstopper”, as the name may suggest kicks off this release with a funky, guitar spiralling, percussion heavy infusion which is a perfect opener and was pushing all the right buttons for me.

And then comes “Fingerbangin”… a sleazy little number which wouldn’t sound at all out of place as a cheesy 80’s film score and consists of the lyrics ‘oh, fingerbangin’ in constant repetition, I can see how some would love it, but for me it is definitely not…

“Don’t let the Moon Catch you Crying” veers in a different musical direction entirely, melodically and lyrically fantastic its definitely catchy, easy listening material.  Its little wonder, therefore that it was the song of choice to release as the main single for this album.

I can hear old time jazz being drawn on in “The Ritz Carlton” and it teeters along at a nice steady pace before some heavy duty guitar takes it to another level entirely.

“This Heart of Palm” serves as a stunning instrumental interlude in an album which is otherwise an erratic melting pot of sounds and styles and by the time I get to “Pussy on my Pillow” it has pushed the boundaries of my sensibilities to the extreme.

Recorded at ‘The Deaner’s’ own studio in Lambertville, New Jersey the album has been released in 3 formats – limited edition coloured vinyl with gatefold sleeve, specially coloured CD and via digital streaming services.  All songs on this release with the exception of “Showstopper” and don’t let the Moon Catch you Crying” were written by Michael Melchiondo (AKA Dean Ween).

There were a lot of musicians involved in the production of this record and there is a lot going on in it, perhaps at times too much, it lacks distinctive style and sense of direction and is full of musical twists, turns and surprises.  This is not necessarily a bad thing and the quality of musicianship is incredible as it demonstrates skilled versatility but the key to enjoying this album is to expect the unexpected as no two songs can be likened to one another …

SCORE: 8/10

REVIEWED BY: Karen Hetherington

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