Z

"Shampoohorn" (Barking Pumpkin; 1994)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Z was considered a side project for Dweezil Zappa. He and his brother Ahmet released two albums, “Shampoohorn” and “Music For Pets.” In the odd style of anything Zappa, AZ/DZ put together some weird stuff, but the guitar is unmistakably Zappa.

The songs have a lot of production in them. Mike Keneally adds his touch to a few tracks. Keneally is associated with Via so you know the guitar is neo-prog and hard to distinguish at times between Steve Vai, Van Halen and Frank Zappa. But, you know, if those guys were hanging around my house on a regular basis, I wouldn’t be learning auto mechanics. Dweezil does have his own style and he is an excellent player on many of the tracks. I’m not trying to pigeonhole the guy as a clone at all. His acoustic work is the best I have heard in a long time; he shines the most on these tracks.

“Jesus Clone” is the best instrumental where Dweezil twists Van Halen and Vai together. Because the songs are so quirky at times, it's easy to lose interest. A Zappa trademark is being so out there that few will follow but those who do are in a for a space ride like no other.

Having so much talent and intelligence must be a curse, but Z pours everything they own into this recording. The vocals are never over the top but this was 1994 remember. The guitar is great in parts and although it comes in spurts of fillers and solos that make no sense. I had to force myself to remember who I was listening to.

Performing on "Shampoohorn" are Ahmet Zappa – lead vocals and hair stunts; Dweezil Zappa – guitars, solos and background vocals; Mike Keneally – guitars, other stuff; Joe Travers – drums and pots and pans; Bryan Beller – low sounding instrument.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 15 May 2016 12:09:22 -0400 .