Frank Zappa "Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention"

By Edwin Pouncey

Sounds, December 12, 1985

'Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention'

(Barking Pumpkin Records US Import ST74203)

"WHAT'S THE ugliest part of your body?" asked Frank Zappa way back in 1967 on his 'We're Only In It For The Money' album. "I think it's your mind," was the answer, and Zappa must have been sorely tempted to re-vamp that particular number for this latest, cleverly titled snork of outrage.

At least this time round he's got something to lock what's left of his teeth into. Instead of thumbing his nose at homos, coked up record execs and the like, he's got some real uglyminds to lobotomise, namely the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre) who want rock music to be rated and sanitised. Rock has been decreed a tool of the Devil, 'outrageous filth' that should be scoured from the ears of a nation's youth.

As the senators, housewives and ultra -right groups go witch-hunting and burn what's left of the 'sacred' first amendment (y'know, the one about free speech 'n' stuff) at the stake, Zappa retaliates by including a track called 'Porn Wars' on his new album. 'Porn Wars' takes the taped transcriptions from the hearing and turns the whole loaded issue back on itself. Sniggering senators are transformed into idiot half pig demons whose corny clichés are whirled up their own assholes.

The whole foolish episode is made to look more foolish, sinister and, ultimately, dangerous. It's the focal point on an album which, for the most part, is mere padding. On 'Freak Out', Zappa mockingly warned that "It can't happen here". I guess that both you and me thought he was joking, huh?