Picks and Pans Review: My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama

updated 05/09/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Dweezil Zappa

What a difference a generation can make. Frank Zappa's eldest son, Dweezil, pulls out all the stops on this record, his second, but in retrospect his dad's 1974 tune Don't Eat the Yellow Snow sounds like a gem of a tone poem when stacked up against this set of head-banging songs. It might be unfair to expect the Dweez at 18 to be an accomplished musician, although he does show some of his father's prowess with an ax in his hand. Now might also be a good time, however, for the patriarch of the Zappa clan to exercise one last bit of parental discipline. Something like "OK, Dweeze, go to your room and don't come out until you learn what a melody line is." Save for the ballad When You're near Me, all the tunes on the album are played at an identical breakneck speed and constructed the same way: There's a couple of throw-away verses, a chorus, one of Dweezil's slick solos and then back to the chorus. Producer Beau (Ratt) Hill lets Dweezil dominate the proceedings on guitar and pumps up the drum tracks to create the feeling of a dam that is just busting loose behind your speakers. (Terry Bozzio, formerly of Missing Persons, is one of three drummers sitting in, but it was a waste of time and talent since every song is played at the same bombastic pace.) The Zappa family bands together, with Daddy Frank donating the title track and brother Ahmet singing backup on The Coolest Guy In the World. Lyrically, Dweezil concerns himself with the Iran-contra arms deal (on Nasty Bizness), his father's archenemy, the lyric-censoring Parents Music Resource Center and the usual teen topics—being misunderstood and going unnoticed by members of the opposite sex (the latter does not seem to be one of Dweezil's problems). He charmingly dedicates the album to "the woman that I love, who inspired several of these tunes...she shall remain nameless." Hey, with titles like Bang Your Groove Thang and Shameless, one can only imagine how sorry that special someone is to have gone anonymous. (Chrysalis)

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