Waka/Jawaka * Hot Rats

By Ed Kelleher

Circus, October 1972

Waka/Jawaka * Hot Rats – Frank Zappa (Bizarre)

The almost limitless energy of Frank Zappa is brought to bear on an album which has more threads of jazz running through it than any of his recent releases. This is not really a Mothers album, though assorted members of that notorious congregation do make their presences felt, particularly on side two, which is much more of a Mothers type side to begin with, as opposed to side one on which can be detected many of the aforementioned jazz threads. If all this sounds confusing, what do you expect in a review of a Zappa record? Anyway, by this point in your life, you’ve surely taken a stand on Zappa, so let’s put it this way. If you loved the early Mothers, try “Your Mouth” and “It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal.” They’re chock full of the aggressive satire which made the mid-Sixties so palatable for so many new-turned freaks. If you hated the early Mothers but are curious as to what Zappa is capable of when he joins some fine musicians for a free-form blowing session, take a chance on “Big Swifty” and “Waka/Jawaka.” If you love Zappa’s current capabilities and loved the early Mothers too, play the whole thing. If you hate Zappa and every time variation of the Mothers, pluck the album out of the bin and stomp it into the linoleum of your favorite record store.

Read by OCR software. If you spot errors, let me know afka (at) afka.net