(All Album Reviews by Hippy Pants)
Burnt Weeny Sandwich uses the idea of 'sandwiching' more complex music in-between two lighter vocal 50's doo-wop songs. Opening with "WPLJ" (wine port and lemon juice) a cover song by the Four Deuces, they sing an ode to Friday nights, partying, drinking, and having fun. The song ends as a couple of Mexican pachucos do a voice over about the banal events of the day.
The second song is broken into several movements much like a classical work, and each movement is titled. "Igor's Boogie, Phase One" (an homage to Igor Stravinsky) begins this longer work opening with woodwinds establishing the theme. But quickly this theme is mutated in typical Mother's style and improvised upon by the band. "Theme From Burnt Weeny Sandwich" begins abruptly as an electronic belch slices up the movements, followed by chimes, snare drum, and then, what sounds like someone sawing on a plank of wood only to segue into a cool wah-wah Zappaesque guitar solo. The rest of this song is variations on this same theme, which has this odd metered cabaret or carousel flavor to it ending again with a deft Zappa solo.
"Little House I Used To Live In" is another complex arrangement, which opens with some tasteful, contemporary piano soloing by Ian Underwood. The band launches into this song to pick things up a bit, and Sugarcane Harris soars in for a blistering violin solo as Zappa punctuates and propels the song to its conclusion.
"Valarie" ends the album with a vocalized, brokenhearted ballad. A lot of the music on this album has a rather crude and live, in-studio feel to it making it a pretty powerful, yet tasty little sucker. Also mention must be made for its great collage cover art by Cal Schenkel.