Ween All Request Live

Perhaps sensing that VH1 and PBS would not be banging down their doors to do one of their celebrated-by-the-over-40 crowd specials where large artists play house band before a trucked in audience any time soon, Ween have taken matters into their own hands and done a Live On Request set via their website. At complete odds with the Live In Chicago set released this month, All Request Live is strictly a hardcore fan’s wet dream. The dead giveaway that "hardcore” fans picked the songs for this record is its steadfast reliance on material from what is widely regarded as Ween’s weakest album: The Pod. The songs from The Pod don’t fare much better when given the live treatment, and come off as sounding like Butthole Surfers throwaways (exception being "Demon Sweat,” which sparkles) with the unnecessary distortion and generally flaccid tempos. Neither Gene nor Dean could have had anything to do with the track list suggestions (even making fun of themselves as they lumber through all five parts of the whole version of "The Stallion”) given that most of these seldom get dusted off for the band’s regular live shows. Elsewhere, while the songs are still lesser known (also indicative of a fan’s comp) the tunes on All Request Live begin to pick up as the boys throw themselves into the more recent material from Quebec ("Happy Colored Marbles” and "Tried And True”) and exercise their brownish muscles on "Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire” and "Reggaejunkiejew” and proving that what they do in the studio they can absolutely pull off in a live-ish setting. The record does lack the unbridled fun of Painting The Town Brown or Live In Chicago I’m guessing because band doesn’t have a proper audience to feed off of but even so turn in a good set that does have it’s bright and shining moments. While it’s not available in stores, check out the band’s website to pick up a copy. (Chocodog)