Judging albums by their cover

Ween: Shinola Volume 1

I loves me some Ween, I think they are an incredibly underrated ensemble who have unfortunately been labeled by the ‘novelty song curse’ with ‘Push The Little Daisies’. I love their try everything and see what sticks attitude to producing music, it quite often results in some amazing and unexpected turns in their songs. That being said, I can’t say I’m obsessive about them to the point that I want to listen to everything they have produced, so I should have listened to what my instincts told me upon first seeing the cover for Shinola.

The album is a compilation of B-sides and out-takes which probably should have stayed there. There is the occasional bright spot with tracks like the 70s-like-rocker ‘Gabrielle’ and I couldn’t help but be amused by a song with a title like ‘Big Fat Fuck’, but too much of the album coalesces into a repetitive dirge, it passes the point where playful experimentation just turns into annoying dribble.

I should have been warned by the cover. I have felt a sense of unease with Ween covers before, especially with the uncomfortable title vs imagery of ‘Chocolate & Cheese’, but to me, ‘Shinola’ is just about unbearable to look at. It’s not that the cover is poorly done, it’s just the combination of the sewage colour scheme and ‘head being eaten by maggots’ imagery that puts me off – it just looks like it has been dipped in a public toilet bowl.

So well done to Ween I guess for producing a cover, for me at least, that properly reflected the content.

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