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Dweezil Zappa - Havin' A Bad Day CD (album) cover


Dweezil Zappa

Crossover Prog

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars The first thing that must be noted here is that Dweezil Zappa was only 17 years old when this, his first album was released. Then temper that with the fact that his father was Frank Zappa, they had the recording studio in their house, some musicians from Dad's band to assist, and Dweezil had been getting guitar playing tips from notable players like Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen.

The album is something of a Zappa family affair, as Frank produced the album (along with his engineer Bob Stone), and vocals were provided by mother Gail and siblings Moon Unit, Ahmet and Diva. The core band consists of Dweezil on guitar and vocals, and Frank's band's bassist Scott Thunes and drummer Chad Wackerman. Thunes and Wackerman provided the musical arrangements as well.

The majority of the songs emphasize Dweezil's hero worship of Eddie Van Halen, and for the most part he successfully captures the spirit of Van Halen's music, and often Eddie's guitar style. Two songs, You Can't Ruin Me and Let's Talk About It are brought down by Moon Unit's somewhat thin vocals, but her lyrics, although a bit naive, are not too bad.

Three songs stand out: The Pirate Song is pure prog, with shifting time signatures and some hard rocking solos. I Want A Yacht (co-written with Thunes and Gail) is a funny song, that would fit easily on one of Frank's albums, and features a hiarious performance by Bobcat Goldthwait. And Electric Hoedown is just spectacular, with Zappa playing treated guitar, sounding like a violin or cello, along with fine bass from Thunes.

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Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 | Review Permalink

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