The Mollusk is the sixth full-length album by Ween. It was released on Elektra Records on June 24, 1997. It is a partial concept album, with nearly every song containing a dark nautical theme. The songs on the album cover multiple genres of music and are bound together by a heavy progressive rock influence, often incorporating psychedelic elements. According to Dean Ween, "I will say that the only record that I ever felt really confident about was The Mollusk. That's my favorite record we've ever done."  The song "Ocean Man" is notable for playing during the ending credits of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
After recording 1994's Chocolate and Cheese, Gene and Dean Ween decided they wanted to return to their early method recording albums at home. In 1995, the band relocated their recording equipment to a rented beach house on the shore of Holgate, New Jersey. The band's recording equipment and some of the material were nearly lost when a water pipe burst in the house while the house was unoccupied. At this point, the band put the album on hold and made plans to record 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats in Nashville. After recording 12 Golden Country Greats in 1995 and releasing and touring behind the album the band completed the remaining tracking of The Mollusk at various inland locations. The album was finished in 1996, and released on June 24, 1997.