Dean Ween Group: Rock2
Dean Ween’s revelatory follow-up to 2016’s The Deaner Album is yet another testament to his versatility, not just as a songwriter and guitarist, but as a producer and wrangler; apparently, the album is “a snapshot of the fall of 2016,” tracked in the middle of a long burst of creativity and featuring recruits from the rotating Dean Ween Group, the Ween live band (keyboardist Glenn McClelland, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Claude Coleman Jr.) and “the other 50 members and usual suspects.” What emerges is a remarkably raw and sludgy slab of good old-fashioned basement rock with a distinctly psychedelic edge. The Deaner loves to wear his influences on his sleeve, so the P-Funk, Prince and Hendrix vibes come out in the crazy backward-sounding guitars in “Waste Station 9” and the heavy backbeat of the aptly titled “Showstopper,” while “Yellow Pontiac” goes full Alice Cooper and “Someone Greased the Fatman” surges with a nod to the cosmic big-band rock and funk amalgam perfected by Little Feat in their prime. Of course, the Deaner’s tongue-firmly-in-cheek sense of humor also comes prominently to the fore on the Willie Nelson-esque “Pussy on My Pillow” and in the gritty lounge-cheese of “Fingerbangin,” replete with a skronky sax solo to set the mood. There’s a little bit of everything on Rock2 , and yet Deaner makes it all sound seamless and effortless, which ain’t easy when you’re trying to keep up with such a daunting flow of ideas.