All Request Live – Ween
There's nothing like a dose of new Ween to help with regularity. All Request Live, a summer 2003 webcast performance now available on disc (but only through Ween.com), is the brownest gem to slide down the chute since Quebec dropped anchor last year. These Pennsylvanian purveyors of rock madness have three other live releases well worth tracking down, but none are quite like this. The setlist for All Request Live’s studio concert was voted by fans, which is roughly as hedonistic as sticking your mouth directly under the chocolate soft serve machine. "What can Brown do for you?" Ween queried. The fans were barbarous in their demands, soliciting rare songs almost too hallowed to be resurrected for sport. The band responded with a bevy of material not only hot and viscous, but also rich in colon-sweeping fiber.
The set begins with "Happy Colored Marbles," which marches to a sublime constipated rhythm — its marbles plunk with tickling splashes. This is as good as anything Ween has done, but merely suckling on new stuff is unacceptably safe. What comes next is a show of unwieldy generosity.
If All Request Live is the Gatekeeper, "The Stallion pts. 1-5" is the Keymaster. The consecutive realization of this chronicle is on par with the cosmic aligning of celestial bodies. Like the five Voltron lions consolidating their indomitable strength to forge an even greater power, "The Stallion" saga creates a great unlock. The warm rubble of "Marbles" is flushed away, and you feel as if you were the first ape to touch the monolith. "Part 1" incants the possessed Stallion in all its filthy grandeur: "Goddamn piece of shit / On my dick you should sit / Do you know who you’re fucking with?" Its sequels both celebrate and purge the demons that battle within this complex, mythic figure — the drama expands excrementally (sic). It doesn’t get much browner for the initiated Ween fan, though padawan listeners might wish they had a road map. "The Stallion" trots tenaciously into a steamy bolus of "Demon Sweat." Deaner’s guitar phrasing is utterly soulful and never squeezes too hard. This is still a softer texture; it oozes out like burnt sienna toothpaste, borderline I.B.S..
Up next is an explosivo rendition of "Cover It With Gas and Set It on Fire." When its over even Dean proclaims "that was some tight shit, right?" Now that you've airbrushed the porcelain with your inner Pollack, there's no turning back. Out sprays a surprise attack of "Awesome Sound." Hunker down and keep your legs awake for this glorious mud pit. It mingles with hair and makes a swampy hot mess for days. It's okay to use the handicapped stall; you'll need the handrails for this bismuth behemoth.
As the set continues, Ween consistently births spot-on renditions of touchstone tunes. Drop your trowel for "Reggaejunkiejew," a delicious bomb from 1992's seminal Pure Guava, and one which requires no paperwork. The tenderness of "Tried and True" and "Stay Forever" moisten the pucker like nothing else. Sure it’s a little corny, but you know you’ll never get sick of spotting those conspicuous kernels of heartfelt emotion. Ween’s ability to be sensitive as well as brutal is what keeps you coming back like a battered wife.
The dingleberry track is a greasy and gluttonous expansion of Ween's ill-fated Pizza Hut jingle, "Where'd the Cheese Go?" It's as seductive and decadent as an Asian massage with happy ending. You'll need an immediate shower, cause you've been hosed with bilirubin. Once the supplies of this limited edition self-release are depleted, expect All Request Live to disappear into the anals of out-of-print rock history. Order this record immediately, even if you don’t love Ween yet — you will soon enough.