Friday, September 10, 2010

Review #154: Ween - Axis: Bold As Boognish (1987)


Year: 1987
Genre: Rock, Punk Rock, Experimental
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: Bird O' Pray Records
Tracks: 17
Length: 42 Minutes
Style: Funny/Weird/Happy
My Rating: 7/8

Last time I reviewed a Ween album, it was "Crucial Squeegie Lip"... when Ween were still in high school and just starting out, they were able to have tapes of their early albums released through Bird O'Pray Records. So, CSL was the first Ween album... they released another album in 1987 called "Erica Peterson's Flaming Crib Death", but this was just a more condensed version of the first album with a couple out-takes. The "true" second Ween album is this one. AXIS... BOLD AS BOOGNISH.

Musically, it's a huge step up from the first one... in 'Crucial Squeegie Lip', the songs were mostly just noise or one-chorders with a few exceptions, and the songs weren't very long either. In just one year, their skills at playing their instruments really improved. However, it's all still hilarious, so don't worry! Time to cut to the chase and give All the Right Reasons (tm) why...

1. I'm Killing It (Kill Everything)
The title sounds like something that GG Allin would write! The song opens with various screams from Deaner n' Gener, and the song has a pretty cool beat and rather than guitars playing the melody like you'd expect, it's tubas instead! Gene rants about "killing it".

2. Tweet Tweet
Begins all cut-n'-spliced, and then the song becomes more linear and tells a story about accidentally wrecking someone's car, and the pressure just builds up until Gene screams "TWEET TWEET!" repeatedly, and the beat gets really fast n' stuff. More tubas. Gene re-enacts the pissed off man whose car has been wrecked, complaining about how he's going to have to WORK, AND WORK, AND WORK, AND PAY, AND PAY, ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! .

3. On the Beach
A neat song with a really cool riff singing about surfing and hanging out at the beach. Very catchy. Oh, and there's a guitar solo also. A little Beach Boys-inspired, it feels like.

4. I Like You
This one was also on their live album that I reviewed in February, but the vocals on here sound a lot more 'psycho', and I like the chorus a lot. The guitar on that part sounds awesome. As you might be able to guess, the lyrics describe liking this one person named "You", and flying through the night together on their bikes... kind of like E.T., I guess. The little riff they play at the very end of the song was neat.

5. Bumblebee
AHHH! FUCK! A BUMBLEBEE! A lot of people might know about this song from the album "God Ween Satan". The early version is not any less funny. Gener screams about a BUMBLE BEE that has stung him and caused his sanity to go in shambles. There are even weird little (obviously fake) bumble-bee sounds in the background. Ha ha ha ha heeeeeeeeeee! Poor Gene Ween.

6. Emily
I like this one a lot, too! It's just Gene and Dean singing to an extremely cool guitar melody. I fucking love this song. It just feels great to listen to, man (or wo-man). E-M-ILY! E-M-I-L-Y! E-M-I-L-Y! In the last verse, Gene sings in falsetto.

7. David the Negro
This song is fucking hilarious, but not necessarily because of the usage of the word "negro". Y'see, the Weeners realized that it would be fucking funny as shit if they altered their voices to make it sound like they were constantly changing speeds... ah, I can't think of a good way to put it, but the way they do it sounds REALLY funny. Here they show off how much better they've become at playing guitar (lead guitar, at that) since the last album. David's a good boy.

8. The Iron Whore
This song's sort of a piss-take on heavy metal, with Gene singing like Bon Scott from AC/DC or some other guy like that. The riff, while sounding like a lot of 70's metal songs in itself, is still pretty nice. Then there's a pretty awesome yet generic-sounding solo at the end of the song.

9. Sitting On My Ass (Wanton Nougat)
A song with a bluesy a capella melody, and a weird-ass falsetto sex scene being acted out by Gene & Dean in the background.

10. Smoke In My Brain
Cool beat, cool riff, and lots of screamed vocals! Pretty good, but also pretty short.

11. Anne
The original version of this song was on "Erica Peterson's Flaming Crib Death"... this version is about twenty seconds shorter. Very fast, with lots of goofball screaming! Shortest song on the album (48 sex).

12. Aqua-Ween
Man, the Weeners sure can scream! The chorus part is really cool. The song sings about doing all sorts of cool stuff in the park and at home.

13. She Said, She Said
"She said... I know what it's like to be dead...". This song has a pretty cool catchy melody, and the singers harmonize the vocals on thees song. They sample their own vocals and start placing them around randomly in the second half of the song. Kind of like a New Wave version of the Butthole Surfers.

14. The Journey Into Dinh
The song opens with a fragment of the hilarious final track of the band's first album (the one where they scream for two minutes straight). Then the "song" begins, with lots of fucking around with the tape, as a lot of lead guitar can be heard playing inbetween. It's a pretty scary and weird piece. I'd imagine it'd make good theme music for some weird psychedelic claymation horror film. That I should make. Soon.

15. Gene's Lament (Tree Love Theme)
A slow, droning ballad by Gene Ween himself! It's pretty calm, and it's packed with excellent guitar-playing and melodies.

16. Opus 51 Fugue Trilogy in A (Take Me To the Tree)
This song iz made up of many different parts, so I'll review this one piece by piece.

A. Yurtle Swimming
I'm guessing they're referring to "Yurtle the Turtle", because if they are, then I can see why, 'cause the main thing I think of when I hear this is Yurtle the Turtle swimming a pond made of yellow water. Excellent observation, Weenerz! It starts off with bass, a marching sort of beat, and a lead guitar melody, before transforming into an epic chord-laden trudge, with Gene screaming pure poetry on his way through! The guitar sounds really cool. Then there's a lot more of guitar noodling and needling until transforming into the next song.

B. The Tree
This one's faster and more upbeat. This song's about wanting to go on magical journeys to a TREE. What fun!!!!! The riff is awesome, every part of this part of this part of this album rules.

C. Bertha Gets the Mooshy-Mooshy
This part's just funny. It has a weird, creepy sort of melody, and a slower pace. The chorus goes, well, see the title. As a wonderfully retarded lead-guitar melody plays, the two scream "BERTHA GETS THE MOOSHY MOOSHY" faster and faster until they have no choice but to go back to the other section.

D. The Kitty and the Squirrel
This is a section featuring one G-chord and harmonizing lead melodies, and Gene screaming over this tune (in rhyme, of course). This part takes up the rest of the song until...

E. The Departure
Just a couple seconds of noise at the very end of the song.

So, in total, the entire track is over 13 minutes long. And it's a very legit 13 minutes!

17. One Love For Boognish
An instrumental, psychedelic song. A soft, serene echoey feel to it. I love it. It cuts off at the end.

SOOOOOOOOOOooooOOOoooOoOoOoO, there we have it... this album is as Bold As a Boognish! Definitely a step up from the first album, possibly even better than "God Ween Satan", though nowhere near as good as the three albums that followed God Ween Satan. So, if you're a Ween fan and haven't heard their really early stuff, I strongly recommend checking out this album. It's very cool. Just be prepared to hear Dean and Gene scream a lot! The End.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Opus 51 Fugue Trilogy in A (Take Me to the Tree)
2. Emily
3. One Love for Boognish

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