Picks and Pans Review: Pure Guava

updated 03/15/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/15/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST


Grunge? That's yesterday's news. The hippest of the hip already pledge allegiance to a new cull phenomenon: Ween.

Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo) and Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) have jumped to the Top 10 of the alternative music charts by establishing themselves as the Wizards of Weird. Since they met at 15 in a high school typing class in New Hope, Pa., Dean, 22, and Gene, 21, have invented a style that satirizes and pays homage to '70s bubble-gum pop. They often start with a conventional melody and sentimental lyrics, then create blissful chaos by distorting their voices and adding noisy sound effects with deliberately low-tech techniques recorded in their former rural home.

Pure Guava, Ween's third album and first major-label release, will bewilder most adults. Aside from the distorted vocals, the lyrics of "Touch My Tooter" are sophomoric to the extreme. Yet Dean and Gene, who must have listened to the Beatles' White Album a billion limes, have moments of vision. A few numbers, such as the love song "Sarah," convey an intriguing mix of sarcasm and tenderness.

The Weens seem to be saying that they're having a good time whether or not anyone else understands or approves. No wonder college kids love them. (Elektra)

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