November 15, 2009

Z-Rock Hawaii
Z-Rock Hawaii - 1996

What happens when two kids from Pennsylvania, who are obsessed with dick jokes, drugs, studio manipulation and Prince team up with a seminal Japanese noise/punk/no-wave act? Z-Rock Hawaii is what happens. There are no other words to explain it.

Ween, the boys from PA in this equation, had gained a following by creating slightly bent pop songs; taking what could easily be a straight forward song and filtering it through a haze of drugs and 4-track studio tricks, like on their breakthrough album Chocolate and Cheese. The Boredoms (the Japs here), on the other hand had been known for creating literally destructive freaked-out no-wave nihilistic, minimalist music; like on their breakthrough album Chocolate Synthesizer. Where the two groups met is a mystery to me.

Where they meet up on this album, though, is actually not too far from what someone familiar with both their careers might expect. It really does sound like Ween and The Boredoms together. 'I Get A Little Taste Of You' could have shown up on either of Ween's 12 Golden Country Greats or White Pepper albums, if it didn't contain a vocal freak-out by Boredoms front-man Yamantaka Eye.

Maybe it's because I'm more familiar with Ween's discography than The Boredoms' discography, but I feel that Ween is the dominant force on this record. Don't get me wrong, though. The Boredoms are in full force here. Songs such as 'Love Like Cement' and 'Tuchus' (other than Gener's distinctly Ween-sounding spoken vocals) are definitively Boredoms, but it seems that the bulk of the songs remind me more of something Ween would do The Boredoms.

Ween creates music that is usually little homages to other songs, artists or genres. Sometimes they are obscure and sometimes they are overt. This record is no exception. Listening to this album invokes other piece of pop culture. 'Bad To The Bone' is a pretty much straight forward cover of the George Thorogood And The Destroyers song with Eye's trademark screaming and Deaner's tough-guy bar-band vocals. 'In The Garden' sounds like a Middle-Eastern lounge-jazz version of an Andrew 'Dice' Clay routine, while 'Love Like Cement' invokes thoughts of some kind of Butthole Surfers song. This record is all over the place.

Perhaps the most interesting song on this record full of them is 'God In My Bed'. It sounds like Ennio Morricone on LSD, which ends up sounding like it could be one of the Funkadelic spoken word pieces like 'Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow'; 'Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts'; or 'March To The Witch's Castle'. While I am on the subject of George Clinton, I should point out that 'Sunset Over Osaka' hovers through some beautiful airspace just above Funkadelic's 'Maggot Brain'; while 'I Get A Little Taste Of You' sounds something like 'Jimmy's Got A Little Bit of Bitch In Him'. God Damn I love me some Funkadelic!

Download and Enjoy!

Track listing:
from CD:
1. Chuggin'
2. Bad To The Bone
3. In The Garden
4. Love Like Cement
5. Tuchus
6. Piledriver
7. I Get A Little Taste Of You
8. God In My Bed
9. The Meadow
10. Sunset Over Osaka
11. Hexagon [Bonus Track]

Download Z-Rock Hawaii from DivShare (80.05 MB)

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