Lima Charlie | It’s So Easy To Be Creepy (s/r)

cd_lima-charlie.jpgThe shadow of Ween hangs over their second release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does the world really need a Ween-lite? Well maybe, as there probably isn’t enough humor in contemporary rock, and Lima Charlie certainly have a good sense humor as well as decent chops. Also, they’re not as deliberately extreme as Dean and Gene can be.

But the shadow of Ween hangs over their second release: the opener is a calypso-flavored number called "Banana Boat" (Ween recorded "Bananas and Blow" on their White Pepper release); there’s a tune called "Disease Parade" (it’s a rollicking little thing, but Ween’s "HIV Song" and several others traveled this road before); and "Supersize My Love" features a thoroughly impressive falsetto vocal by Jim O’Mahony, resulting in one of the disc’s standout cuts.

The problem? Ween laid down a similar outstanding falsetto in "Freedom of ’76," and a similar, better-realized nod to Prince in "Roses Are Free" (both those tunes from 1994’s Chocolate and Cheese). Pete van Leeuwen, who plays most of the instruments and sings on all but three songs, clearly has spirit and drive—there’s something about the dedicated daffiness of tunes like "Menopause Graduate," "Average Caucasian Blues" and the lengthy "Election Day" (which builds into a decent little guitar jam) that certainly makes you smile and take notice.

But better songs and more interesting arrangements would help separate this New York foursome from the rock ‘n’ roll pack that they’re presently only in the middle of. C+ | Kevin Renick

RIYL: Ween, Built to Spill, Weird Al

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