October 25, 2007

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Ween, La Cucaracha
Rounder Records, Oct. 23
Ween’s new tour-de-weird for 2007 makes crystal clear the band’s desire to become the next Mark Mothersbaugh-inspired freak-geek-soundtrack go-to guys. Their passion for subdued wobbliness is at full strength, and although they’re known for being too serious about all their baloney, opening instrumental “Fiesta” is pretty hilarious, a bonding of mariachi trumpets, showoff garage drums and a big fat glitch marking mid-song. “Blue Balloon” pits a minimalist micro-jazz line against vocals that are pure geek-alt falsetto from Brooklyn; those and Gene Ween’s other drippy science-teacher vocals are forever out of place — part of the band’s “attraction” I suppose — but never less so than in the wispy Calexico-style dustball “Object” (tag line “You’re just an object to me,” a clumsy lunge at Zappa-esque humor). A much better joke song (aren’t they all?) is “The Fruit Man,” a navel-gaze reggae vehicle featuring Gene mimicking the old “Cola nut” guy who narrated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I know, I should definitely shut up about that totally awesome and hilarious movie one of these days). They’ll be at the Orpheum in Boston on Nov. 28. B- Eric W. Saeger