Enter Ween, a two-piece band from Solebury Township, Pa., famous among the East Coast indie crowd for recording more songs in a day than Bruce Springsteen does in a year, then greeting its producer every few weeks with a bag filled with demos. Ween is the Replacements put into overdrive, the anti-Nirvana, the white "Dirty Mind"-era Prince, the Lennon and McCartney for the '90s.
At Club Lingerie on Thursday, in its first Los Angeles appearance, Ween started up its second song, the Elton John-styled "Captain Fantasy," half a dozen times before it made it all the way through, and had the bored Hollywood crowd--mostly there to see headliner Pigmy Love Circus--eating out of its hand. Even to the most band-jaded rock 'n' roll Hollywoodian, Ween was something new.
Dean and Gene Ween finish each other's sentences, bobble their heads in the same eccentric rhythms, look at their bare feet a lot, except Gene Ween also looks a lot at the tape machine that plays the drum and bass tracks for all Ween songs, and which seems to be frequently on the fritz. They played impeccable Skynyrd, Big Star and Ohio Players-style songs, the best of the '70s brought to sputtering life.
Ween could be classified as a Wayne's World-type thing, two suburban guys goofing around with air-guitar moves, Queen riffs, mimicked Robert Plant rock-god hair-tosses and heaps o' irony--except that Ween plays perfect pop songs . When Ween announces that "Demon Sweat" was written for Phil Collins, that it is "your every Phil fantasy solidified into one jam," it is a Phil song, with over-driven electronic drums, high-register hiccups, corny organ, better than the ones Phil himself has been writing these days.