The Pod is the second studio album by Ween, originally released by Shimmy Disc in September 1991. Most often considered the band's "challenging album," The Pod (named for the apartment Dean and Gene shared in which all of the album's songs were recorded) is probably also the band's most surreal.
The cover art on this album is a takeoff of the 1975 The Best of Leonard Cohen LP record cover. Ween simply positioned a photo of Mean Ween's head (wearing a "nitrous oxide powered bong" which is sometimes mistaken for a "Scotchgard bong") over Cohen's cover art and did alterations to the title and other graphics. The copy of the Leonard Cohen record that Ween used had purportedly belonged to Dean Ween's mother, Eileen Ween. The Pod, according to Ween-lore, was written under the influence of Scotchgard, but this was later refuted by Gene and Dean themselves as being "the most slime-bag thing we could think of". The contraption on the album cover is not a Scotchgard inhalation device, but a bong-like device used to send THC directly to the brain by use of nitrous oxide, which was said to leave the user intoxicated for days.
The album was recorded on two tapes made by Ween from January to October 1990, at the Pod on Van Sant Road in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania. (The album, in fact, was named after this apartment that Dean and Gene shared at the time.) The tapes were titled the Bilboa tape and the Big Timmy Wasserman tape. Both tapes contain not only demo versions of songs on the album, but many outtakes not used on any album or tracks used on future albums.
All of the songs have a murky, sludgy quality to them (possibly due to being recorded on a Tascamfour-trackcassette recorder), and many of the vocals are manipulated in strange ways. The lyrics are also quite druggy and bizarre; a contributing factor may have been drug use, as the album notes claim that the band used Scotchgard as a recreational drug, although they have later confirmed that this was a running joke. Another contributing factor may have been the fact that Dean and Gene both came down with cases of mononucleosis during the recording of the album. The song "Alone" borrows the guitar riff/melody from Robyn Hitchcock's "The Bones In The Ground".
The Pod has since been remastered and reissued by Elektra Records after the relative success of such Ween albums as Pure Guava (1992) and Chocolate and Cheese (1994); as mentioned above, the album was previously issued by Shimmy Disc.
"Recorded by Dean and Gene Ween on a Tascam four-track cassette recorder between January and October 1990. All songs recorded at the Pod, where we lived for a year and 10 months (with our cat Mandee). The Pod was scenically located on Van Sant Road in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania. Our apartment was a haven for flies because it sits in the middle of a horse farm. In the time this album was completed, we filled up 3,600 hours of tape, and inhaled 5 cans of Scotchgard. This album was then produced and mixed by Andrew Weiss (our pal) at the Zion House of Flesh, Hopewell, New Jersey. Straight to DAT Mang. Mean Ween played the bass on "Alone" and that's him on the cover doin' up some Scotchguard powered bongs. We got evicted on October 1, 1991. But Dave Ayers says he's gonna help us out. Cover and art designs by Logorhythms."