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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.77 | 390 ratings

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3 stars Weasels Ripped My Flesh is only an average Zappa record, all told, stronger than most of his post 70s ones, but weaker than a number of those he produced during that decade.

A last hurrah for the Mothers of Invention, this album mostly focuses on improvisational avant-garde music. This is not something easy to deal with for those not into that sort of music, but for an introduction into the Mothers from 70s Zappa, a great idea. Much of the album is dedicated to noodling. Some incredible ideas are tossed around and implemented here, but instead of keeping the album musically solid, Frank decided to play around with some very avant-garde piddling. Conceptually, it's pretty neat, but when you sit down and listen to it, atonal saxophone hoots and incessantly awkward laughter don't really provide the feeling of a well-thought-out record. It seems like the band took their new song ideas and just goofed around for a day with them (which may well be what happened). So, in the end, there is a prevalent sense of humor. This album may feel grating to many listeners, but subsequent listenings really do reveal some unique ideas.

The only songs really worth mentioning as far as songs go are the trio of My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama, Oh No, and The Orange County Lumber Truck. My Guitar is a more conventional Zappa tune, with a good groove and a catchy melody, and it's equipped with Frank's odd sense of humor. Despite the title, there is not much guitar to be found, save a high quality acoustic solo in the middle. The music then jumps into Oh No, which features some nice (and eventually ridiculous) vocal work and a sort of jazzy feel. Oh No, in turn, segues into The Orange County Lumber Truck, a three minute instrumental with wonderful guitar work, the kind of song the whole album has been begging for. This track then becomes the title track with a bit of laughter, but this closing tune is not a tune at all but rather more noise like the earlier parts of the record.

Most of the songs on here are sheer noodling and awkward noise-making, though this seems to be more a product of the Mothers of Invention than anything else. A wonderful transitional album from early Mothers insanity and solo Zappa's focused complexity, Weasels ends up being a difficult one to start with but an indispensable effort for experimental Zappa fans.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |


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